Become a HOMELESSNESS HERO and join our goal to build Tiny Homes on the Sunshine Coast for our young people who have experienced homelessness and are transitioning from crisis accommodation to independent living.
Just because you don’t see people sleeping rough in our streets doesn’t mean our local community is immune to the problem. Noosa-Sunshine Coast is a popular holiday destination, but a tough place to live for many young people to settle due to extreme housing costs, low average wages, social housing shortage and high rental competition. Add to this, COVID-19 impacts of business closures, unemployment and health concerns, 2020 has seen more local people and particularly young people experiencing homelessness.
Youturn Youth Support works across Southern Queensland, in core youth service areas: child safety, homelessness and mental health. Our humble beginnings started as a Youth Homelessness grass roots project over 30 years ago and five volunteers supported six young people. Today our organisation has grown to at team of 180 employees and last year we supported over 6000 young people.
Driven by the compassion and support of our community, Youturn’s vision this year is to build Tiny Homes with a big heart to support our young people as they “transition” from crisis accommodation to independent living.
Our aim is to raise $100 000 for our first Tiny Home which will be located in Tewantin, and we are in discussions with Noosa Council, who are looking into generously granting us additional land to establish more Tiny homes.
We commit that 100% of the funds raised will go directly to the Big Hearts for Tiny Homes which is a value-add to our government funded specialist homelessness services which is around social support, not infrastructure. We see the two go hand in hand.
These Tiny Homes are intended for young people who are transitioning out of crisis accommodation to support their journey towards independent sustained housing.
As Youturn would be the “owner” of the Tiny Home, we would cover insurance and any rates applicable. The tenants will be expected to pay a minimal affordable rent which will all go towards maintaining and the upkeep of the houses.
At this stage Youturn has not considered purchasing land for our Tiny Houses. Instead, we are exploring various options and have identified some land near our community support centre in Tewantin which would allow us to oversee the tenants and offer the support that they may need. We are also in exploratory and preliminary conversations with various stakeholders and partners including Noosa Council to identify a suitable location for the Tiny Homes, but no official decision has been made as yet. Once we have consulted and engaged with all parties and suitable land has been identified, we will let you know, so be sure to follow our social channels and visit our website.
Youturn carefully considered many options and models before finally making the decision to partner with Aussie Tiny Houses – Coolum. Firstly we were keen to support a local business, but more importantly we wanted to ensure our Tiny Homes offered secure, good quality accommodation which was suitable for long term ownership and could offer flexibility so that we could accommodate, for example, two single young people or a mother with one or two children.
The Tiny Houses will be functional rather than elaborate to best support the needs of the young people and we will opt for the Turnkey option. This will enable us to provide the additional features such as being furnished with beds, lighting, electrical appliances, decking, landscaping etc.
As the tiny homes are intended for young people and young families who are coming out of crisis accommodation and transitioning towards independent living… $100 000 is not a per person cost… It’s important to realise that the investment of the Tiny home could house around 10 – 12 young people or young families over a three year period.
Thank you so much for your interest and willingness to help our cause. If you would like to hop over to our “How you can help page“, we detail various ways that you can get involved. We hope to hear from you soon!
Youturn is a not-for-profit charity and although we rely on government funding to deliver our various programs, we have started fundraising this year to try and do more for our local community in the homelessness space outside the scope of our programs. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to the Tiny Homes initiative.
Youturn have in the past been very active in offering youth skills programs and involving our young people.
We plan to invite our young people to participate in building the decking / landscaping etc, to help keep costs down as far as possible, but the actual build of the tiny houses, we will need to leave to the professionals.
Also it may be worth mentioning that as far as possible, all supplies sourced and contractors involved will be local businesses.
Hannah, a local girl who attended Tewantin Primary and Sunshine Beach High, dropped out of school at 15 when she experienced a complete breakdown of family relationships and mental health issues. She landed up living in a dilapidated party house with a group of youths, doing drugs and alcohol. After 6 months and a few close calls, Hannah realised that he needed to get out and she urgently needed help.
Hannah was referred to Youturn and was accepted into our Supported Accommodation program where she lived for 12 months. Speaking of her time with Youturn, Hannah says: “Youturn gave me time to recover and process. I did not need to be nervous, on guard or weary or jump through people’s hoops… They offered me a safe place – a haven…” Youturn supported me with emotional counselling, teaching me about budgeting and even delivering food parcels when I could not make ends meet.
After 12 months, Hannah met a guy, and soon after moving in she fell pregnant. Unfortunately, the relationships did not last but today she has a beautiful son – Harley, who is her reason for getting up each morning.
Hannah has consistently been employed since 2018, has a clean healthy lifestyle and has recently reached out to Youturn to help with our fundraising efforts. “I feel lucky to have received the support I did, and I feel its important to give back and do what I can for someone else like me…”