The Foundry by SYC – A Year in Review
24 Nov 2022
The Foundry by SYC is an innovative youth skills hub centrally located in the Adelaide CBD. Purpose-built in collaboration with young people and commended on its design, The Foundry provides a range of services, programs and activities to help young people learn the necessary skills to build lasting independence.
Beginning operations in September 2021, The Foundry offers access to essential amenities such as showers, food and computers as well as key activities including wellbeing and employment programs. While young people initially attend The Foundry to access amenities and services, they often return because of the relationships they build and the safety and support they find in a space that has enabled many to access housing and employment.
In the 2021-22 Financial Year…
1,577 presentations of young people at The Foundry since it opened in September 2021
1 in 2 young people presenting at The Foundry spent time accessing meals and food
1 in 4 young people presented at The Foundry to spend time in quiet rooms and access technology
The Foundry is an evolution of SYC’s 60-year legacy of creating and providing accessible services and activities for young people. From SYC’s work with young people on the streets of Adelaide and at Trace-A-Place, The Foundry continues to provide support and pathways for young people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerabilities.
Before presenting to The Foundry just under a year ago, Liam* was experiencing homelessness, sleeping rough in car parks around the CBD. They stumbled on The Foundry after a particularly difficult night.
“I didn’t know about this place, but I just couldn’t sleep on the streets anymore. I walked past and I thought it looked cool but it was closed, so I came back the next day at 6 am, and [a Foundry team member] showed up on his bike and from the moment he let me in it was open, welcoming arms from the beginning.”
Following their first presentation at The Foundry, Liam would frequently be waiting outside in the morning and often spend the day catching up with the Youth Engagement Workers, having something to eat or drink and participating in group programs and activities. Liam participated in The Foundry’s After Dark SALA exhibition, showing their work to the community.
When The Foundry closed for the day, Liam returned to rough sleeping or couch surfing. The Foundry’s Youth Engagement Workers found this a particularly difficult time of day, one of the Workers shared:
“Close is the hardest time of day. Sending a young person into homelessness is the most terrible feeling.”
When Liam moved into temporary accommodation following advocacy from The Foundry, they collected their personal items that they had hidden in locations around Adelaide’s CBD and friends’ houses. This was an important start and Liam eventually secured public housing.
Liam still attends The Foundry often, although a little less frequently than when they were experiencing homelessness. Liam said of The Foundry:
“It wouldn’t be The Foundry without the people. It’s the people who give it life. They are proactive and want to help. It [The Foundry] turned life on its head. I had no friends, I had no food, I had no bed. To have an opportunity to continue and not spiral down was something I’ll be forever grateful for.”