SA Minister for Social Housing, the Hon Zoe Bettison MP, announced this week that the State Government will provide UniSA with $300,000 funding over two years to pilot a new youth homelessness early intervention project in regional South Australia.

UniSA will partner with Adelaide charities and service providers SYC Limited and Uniting Communities to implement the pilot, which will be rolled out in Mount Gambier and will investigate how early intervention can address disengagement, homelessness and the wellbeing of young South Australians.

SYC CEO Paul Edginton said that SYC was very pleased to be working with the University of South Australia, Uniting Communities and the broader Mt Gambier community to deliver the homelessness intervention pilot.

“We are delighted to be able to support the implementation and roll-out of this important pilot in South Australia.”

“The project is modelled on The Geelong Project, which has achieved solid outcomes in reducing youth homelessness in the Geelong community by bringing together school communities and service providers to appropriately flag young people at risk of homelessness and proactively working with that young person and their family to deal with issues that otherwise may result in homelessness.”

SYC, through its youth services division, HYPA (standing for Helping Young People Achieve), has been a service provider in the Limestone Coast region since 2009, delivering the alternative learning program, Flexible Learning Options (FLO),  and the FLO Homelessness Specialist program.

According to Mr Edginton, that places HYPA well to support the early intervention pilot.

“HYPA already has very strong relationships with Limestone Coast schools and the local community more broadly, and our existing work in the South East places us very well to be able to identify young people at risk of homelessness and work with them and their families to avoid the homeless outcome.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, contact HYPA on 1300 306046 or visit www.hypa.net.au for more information.