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Considering the long-term impacts, risks, and trade-offs of youth homelessness

Having a safe and secure home is a basic human right. So why is it that there is no strategic homelessness response and Australia received only a 2 star rating in the YDA Report Card? (hyperlink to the card).

Numerous policies and changes in funding programmes during the past two decades have met with limited success. At the same time, the number of young people consulting homelessness services in 2019 is significantly higher than prior to 2008. The root cause of youth homelessness in Australia is the lack of an agreed national strategy and the ever changing funding policies.

Until we have a unified approach to abolish homelessness all we will keep doing what we know works and what we have done for more than three decades – provision of support services for vulnerable young people at the local level.

We know there is a critical need for our services and we believe that private individuals, business owners and others  want to give  back to the local community. Our Case for Investment outlines to you the reasons why the Burdekin Association does what it does so well  and why your support is essential in continuing to support young people to ensure they can reach their full potential.

View or download our Case for Investment document here

What are the key drivers of youth homelessness?

Family and domestic violence and young people exiting the state care system.

Why do we raise funds?

It is a tragic fact that in Sydney children and young people are being neglected and abused. Domestic violence, mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse are common issues.

When parents are unable or unwilling to care for their children and teenagers the community must step up and support them.

The Burdekin Association’s main aim is to provide care, support and accommodation options to children and young people at risk. We are helping to raise the next generation and we need your assistance in doing so.

Every child and young person deserves access to education, health care, clothing, housing, a modest birthday and maybe christmas present, tutoring, personal effects, swimming lessons, sports teams and everything else that we took for granted growing up.

It is only possible to continue changing the lives of hundreds of children and young people in need through a combination of Government funding and the generosity of our supporters and partners.

Due to our fundraising efforts we were able to appoint a Specialist Family Worker as well as a Community Engagement Specialist which allowed us to expand our services from providing housing and support for those in crisis to targeted support of the local community. This means a more holistic early intervention approach to youth homelessness by reaching out to at-risk families and vulnerable young people as well as helping those young people who exit the state care system at 18.

Our programmes include: The Family Interventions Program, The Community Engagement Program, The Youth Housing Program and The Out of Home Care Program which all seek to meet the growing needs of the Northern Beaches Community.

Our successful model of care identified outcomes for 12 – 17 year olds age group that are significantly above the state average in areas of educational achievement, transition to independence, secure housing, increase in family contact as well as an increase in mental wellbeing.

Where does the money go?

The Burdekin Association is committed to good stewardship of all the funds in its care. We appreciate every donation we receive, and ensure that every dollar is applied well.

Donations provided to the Burdekin Association are either dedicated to particular projects like the Burdekin Youth Support Fund or allocated as untied funding to support our work in general – depending on your preference.

Donations are the only way we can develop new and integrated services to help young people in need. For example a donation of:

  • $10 provides stationery for a child at school.
  • $25 provides a birthday present for a young person in need.
  • $45 pays tuition for a child to learn swimming and 10 times that will pay for the entire course.
  • $65 pays for internet access for a young person to assist in their education.
  • $75 provides a move-in pack of kettle toaster crockery & cutlery.
  • $100 provides food for a teenager for a week.
  • $500 provides a laptop for a young mum to study on line whilst caring for her child.
  • $750 pays for a removalist for a young couple moving on to independence in a local suburb.
  • $1,000 pays for an internet connection for an entire year for one of our homes.
  • $1500 provides a white-goods package of fridge & washing machine.
  • $2,500 pays for furniture including white goods to fit out one flat for our young people.
  • $2,550 covers the subsidised rent of a young person studying year 12 for an entire year.
  • $3,500 pays for re-carpeting a 2 bedroom unit for our young people.
  • $5,000 contributes to University fees and textbooks for one young person.
  • $10,000 provides 5 essential workshops for up to 20 young people run by professionals about Drugs and Alcohol, Employability skills, Parenting strategies, Behaviour modification and Health and Well-being that will equip young people with the necessary life skills to become productive members of the community.
  • $20,000 pays for innovative programs that reach 30 vulnerable young people & their families at risk of disengagement from school & family breakdown, the number one contributor to homelessness at the Northern Beaches.
  • additional $20,000 would pays for the purchase of a crew cab ute to assist with activities and moving young people.
  • $30,000 will provide 20 young people with intensive case management support, focusing on education and employment to assist with their transition into independence.

Accountability

Imagine surviving by sleeping on a friend’s couch (couch-surfing), squatting or staying in other overcrowded unsafe places. Imagine not having a say in when or where you go to sleep. Imagine your parents not being able to look after you or not wanting to look after you. Imagine living in fear of family violence. Imagine growing up in state care being moved from one house to another and then when you reach your eighteenth birthday instead of a present you become homeless. Imagine not having the life-skills to get by – cooking, budgeting, finding support services, an education. Imagine turning to drugs and alcohol to escape and imagine developing mental health problems because of all of the above.

Imagine if nobody cared enough to help you…

Are we all accountable for young people in society? We think so and we know that many of you feel the same way. Together we do our best to help support young local people through your donations, support and advocacy.