Foyers for homeless young people

Published 5:00am 9 March 2024

Foyers for homeless young people
Words by Nick Crockford

Two Moreton Bay suburbs have been identified as possible sites for new 40-unit Youth Foyers to house and support homeless young people.

Caboolture and Mango Hill are listed in 16 investment-ready national Foyer projects in a budget submission for Federal funding.

FoyerInvest will be in Canberra on March 18-19 to meet decision makers and discuss its bid for $184 million over three years to build 10 new Foyers.

They would be built on “TAFE or TAFE adjacent land or land owned by other entities including state and local governments and non-profit organisations”.

Of the 16 sites, it says some have “land committed, some require modest capital and operational funding and some have councils and/or State and Territory Governments committed or in negotiation”.

Youth Foyers, for those aged 16-24, have self-contained units, with a personal bathroom and kitchen, education, employment and training to help young lives back on track.

“Contrary to common perceptions, young people experience the highest rates of homelessness among all age groups in Australia,” The Foyer Foundation CEO Liz Cameron-Smith said.

Foyers for homeless young people
The Youth Foyer in Logan, which opened in 2009.

“Forty per cent of people experiencing homelessness are under the age of 24.”

“There are too many young people being forced to couch surf, live in cars, in overcrowded or unsafe homes or even on the streets.

“Foyers are a proven solution that gives young people who are ready to learn and earn a way out of homelessness.”

Ms Cameron-Smith said Foundation research identified 16 areas in regional, remote and metropolitan places where a Foyer would make a significant difference.

“The support Foyers provide enables young people to overcome intergenerational cycles of disadvantage, foster independence and unlock their full potential,” she said.

“This not only benefits each young person, it also has positive impacts for their families, communities and our economy.”

The Foyer Foundation has 16 centres across six states – including Logan and the Gold Coast, see feature picture. Number 17, in Townsville, is in development.

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