A lifetime devoted to humanitarian works, many local in his hometown of Nambour on the Sunshine Coast and others global as Rotary International President leading the eradication of polio disease world-wide, the late Sir Clem Renouf (1921 – 2020) certainly understood how to drive social change and create impact.
Breaking the cycle of homelessness for example, needs a collaborative whole of community approach. From local government and industry to our community sector and citizens who can give a little, working together creates change. While a strong leader can provide inspiration that accelerates impact.
Sir Clem Renouf’s passion for humanity and community has been an inspiration to many and, his learnings and values passed onto to his much-loved children. Through a family sub-fund established with the Queensland Community Foundation, the next generation of Renouf’s continue their father’s legacy in supporting youth education and learning, community housing and homelessness.
Youturn Youth Support are a charity the Renouf Family have chosen to give to, and their understanding of, and willingness to engage on the issues, has meant a strategic approach in philanthropy (in the giving and receiving), explains Dr Noel Renouf.
“Dad set up the sub-fund with Queensland Community Foundation quite some time ago and initially gave a little to many charities. In recent years, as a family we decided to be more impactful by choosing a cause, demographic, charity and purpose to give to annually,
“We spoke the same language as Youturn’s program manager who also wanted to break the cycle of homelessness early (youth) and since 2019 our donation has gone towards licenses and learning (sustainable living skills) as a way to give young people leaving supported accommodation a second chance,” Noel said.
In the last 12 months the family philanthropists have supported ten young people to access driving lessons, with four gaining their Provisional License, two are about to sit the practical test and 4 are being supported by Youturn to re-sit the test. This year, young people are also undertaking Barista training for work in the local café trade.
Extreme housing costs, low average incomes and a social housing shortage, make the tourist destination of Noosa-Sunshine Coast a tough rental market, especially for marginalised young people hit hard in the 2020 economic and health crisis, explains Youturn General Manager of Homelessness, Darce Foley.
“Noosa-Sunshine Coast is always tough for a young tenant starting out on minimum wage to sustain a roof over their head with housing costs at a premium, however add the Covid-19 impact and many residents were only a few steps away from being homeless and young people particularly vulnerable.
“Our service provides immediate and transitional housing for young people, as well as community education, and case management to help young people to resolve crisis in their life, mediate with family, and to build sustainable living skills which includes short courses thanks to our wonderful donors”, said Darce Foley.
Young people who are homeless will often experience poor mental health, poverty, trauma, substance abuse, social isolation and are victims of violence. These issues make it more difficult to escape homelessness.
Tenancy skills training, obtaining a driver’s license and ensuring job skills match what local employers want, are just some of the extra prevention activities that Youturn offer young people who access specialist homelessness services. These activities are made possible by our philanthropic community and, the wisdom, foresight and genuine empathy of the late Sir Clem Renouf and his family have led the way, empowering young people’s potential.