Shared from the 4/17/2018 Whittlesea eEdition

SOUTH MORANG

Crisis beds edge closer

Council strikes a deal with Hope Street service for youth homeless accommodation centre

VULNERABLE young Whittlesea families impacted by homelessness will be helped with a new crisis accommodation centre to be built in South Morang.

The 12-bed supported crisis accommodation centre, to be run by Hope Street Youth and Family Services, will cost $4.8 million to build and $2 million a year to run.

It will also provide a 24-hour, seven day-a-week response service to help place 220 young people aged 16 to 25, and their children, in emergency and mobile outreach accommodation.

Hope Street will model the centre, located on council land, on similar services it runs in Brunswick and Melton.

The centre will also act as a bridge to other services.

Hope Street approached Whittlesea Council seeking a long-term lease for land on Embling St, South Morang.

Councillors unanimously voted to grant a 30-year lease for a nominal fee of $104 a year, provided the not-forprofit company could raise the money to build the centre and fund ongoing operational costs.

The council will enter into a joint application with Hope Street to advocate to government, corporate, philanthropic and other stakeholders to raise the required funds.

South East Ward councillor Alahna Desiato said she was “very proud” the council could provide the site to Hope Street.

“It’s distressing to know there are homeless people who can’t get the help they need in Whittlesea,” Cr Desiato said.

“It’s important we look after our residents so they don’t have to travel to the city to access the services they need.”

Hope Street chief executive Donna Bennett said she was thrilled to be partnering with the council on the project.

She said the organisation was still in the early stages of exploring options to raise money through community consultation but the community was keen “to get behind us to address youth homelessness.”

See this article in the e-Edition Here