Students dig deep for homeless youth

Published 5:00am 5 April 2023

Words by Moreton Daily

Albany Creek State High School students are helping young people facing homelessness get their lives back on track.

Money raised by the school’s students is supporting the Sponsor a Bed program at Carinity Orana. The service provides crisis accommodation for homeless people aged 16 to 21 years and young people at risk of becoming homeless.

Carinity Orana provides immediate supported accommodation at Bald Hills for up to five residents at a time, for an average stay of six months.

Ainsley Gilbert and Nadia de Gong were members of Albany Creek State High School’s Student Representative Council, which late last year organised a fundraiser in support of Carinity Orana.

Youth helping youth

“We were looking for a charity to support and we saw how Carinity Orana provides for people who are less fortunate, and helps those who are in dire circumstances,” Ainsley says.

“I personally thought for us teenagers who may know young people who need some help sometimes, Carinity is a very helpful organisation to have in our community and to support.”

Nadia says the school’s students raised around $500 through a Christmas-themed free dress day.

“We asked students to wear a Christmas shirt to school and bring a $2 donation,” Nadia explains.

“The support was amazing; we didn’t expect the event to be so large and for so many of our junior school students to participate.”

Generous support

Carinity Orana program manager Dave McNair thanked the school students for their generosity in supporting an important local community service.

“Many of the young people referred to our service lack the basic items they need to live such as clothing, uniforms, toiletries, linen and access to transport – things we often take for granted,” Dave says.

“Our service relies on generous donors for support.”

Dave says Carinity Orana, which was established in 1981, helps young people to “transition to independence and a brighter future”.

Youth workers help young people access education, training, employment, counselling services, recreational activities, new social networks, and permanent accommodation.

“Young people will often come to Carinity Orana in crisis and we help them to become stable and start to help them to move forward in their lives,” Dave says.

“We walk alongside young people, identifying their unique strengths and resources, and presenting options and choices so they can make informed choices in their life.”

People can sponsor a bed at Carinity Orana by pledging their support online here or by phoning 3550 3737.

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