Hundreds of young people experiencing homelessness will have access to a groundbreaking 24/7 refuge with crisis support in central Melbourne, with the upgrade of Frontyard Youth Services.
Minister for Housing Richard Wynne opened the redeveloped centre today, made possible by the Andrews Labor Government’s $3.5 million investment that will help change lives for young Victorians sleeping rough.
Frontyard, run by Melbourne City Mission and based in King St in the CBD, has been upgraded with new facilities including two floors of crisis accommodation and health and medical services.
The centre combines accommodation with services for mental health, drug and alcohol, disability, health, family violence, legal needs and counselling, all under the one roof for homeless people aged under 25.
It includes a new assertive outreach program which aims to engage with and help hard-to-reach groups of young people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.
It features two new sensory rooms to de-escalate emotional and mental stress, and an animal-assisted therapy program. It has Centrelink facilities and a doctor on site.
Frontyard is now open 24 hours, seven days a week and will help more than 430 young people a year. It has been offering support and safety to young people experiencing homelessness and crisis for 30 years.
The project is a partnership between Melbourne City Mission, the Victorian Government, philanthropists and the Property Industry Foundation. Key philanthropists include The Peter and Lyndy White Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and The Joe White Bequest.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing Richard Wynne
“This upgrade will ensure hundreds of young Victorians who need shelter will get the comfort and security of a bed and a roof over their heads.”
“Young people can become homeless for a wide range of reasons, and investing early in someone’s life can help stop an episode of homelessness becoming a lifetime of homelessness.”
Quotes attributable to Melbourne City Mission chief executive Vicki Sutton
“The Frontyard model of connected support and accommodation is a world-first in terms of providing a comprehensive response to what we know young people need.”
“Melbourne City Mission thanks the Victorian Government, Property Industry Foundation and the donors and philanthropists who have supported this model that will help Victoria reduce youth homelessness.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020