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Anchor Packs will help one thousand young South Australians in crisis

  • Nov 30, 2017
Backpacks 4 SA Kids recently won a $100,000 grant to create ‘Anchor Packs’ specifically aimed the young people accessing crisis homelessness services at HYPA.

Basic toiletries, drink bottle, sunscreen, radio, a metro card, phone and other items are included as part of the essential supplies in the new backpacks specifically designed to support South Australian teens and young adults in crisis. The packs will also contain helpful information about renting and a USB for important files and resumes.

For the past four years, local organisation Backpacks 4 SA Kids has put together over 9,000 backpacks for children up to the age of 18 to help them deal with the intense trauma of being removed from families or displaced from their homes.  Often this happens without them having a chance to take any of their personal belongings with them.

Now thanks to a funding grant of $100,000 from IMPACT 100 SA, Backpacks 4 SA Kids has been able to expand its focus and put together 1,000 ‘Anchor Packs’ made especially for teens and young adults facing homelessness.

Backpacks 4 SA Kids Founder, Rachael Zaltron says the backpacks are an important development.

“While our current backpacks are doing a great job in supporting younger children, we have identified a gap in what’s available for SA teens and young adults in crisis.

“So we wanted to create a special pack that focused more on supporting them through the challenges they might face whilst homeless, including sexual activity and mental health support, as well as job seeking information,” she says.

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On Tuesday November 14, Backpacks 4 SA Kids and HYPA volunteers spent the day assembling 1,000 Anchor Packs at Para Hills West.

The majority of the ‘Anchor Packs’ have come to our Trace-A-Place service which is aimed specifically at young people aged between 15-25 years old who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.  Trace-A-Place clients also include young parents with children.

HYPA’s Head of Communications and Partnerships, Lauren Dimas says the backpacks – which cost around $100 to fill – will be a valuable and much appreciated resource for the young people that come to them every day for help.

“The Anchor Packs are a fantastic idea. Sometimes just having those very basic necessities can make all the difference when people are facing those periods of extreme stress and pressure. We’re delighted that Backpacks 4 SA Kids is partnering with us to provide this fabulous support by providing 800 of the 1000 packs they’ll be putting together.”

HYPA and SYC staff had their work cut out for them moving all 800 packs to the basement when they were delivered. The whole operation has been an amazing team effort, only possible through the generosity of several businesses and individuals – and the results are well worth it.

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