Funding for homelessness services extended
The Gillard Government has extended funding for more than 100 services for young homeless people with a $24 million investment in the Reconnect Program.
Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness Brendan O’Connor made the announcement while visiting Brisbane’s Career Employment Australia with Member for Moreton Graham Perrett on Youth Homelessness Matters Day.
“I’m pleased to announce that funding for the Reconnect Program will be extended until June 2013 so that this successful program can continue to help young people live in a safe and supportive environment,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Reconnect has a proud history of supporting some of our most vulnerable, with more than 61,000 cases of support for young people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness since 2000, including over 6,100 in 2010-11 alone.
“After providing these young people with the right support through Reconnect, almost 90 per cent reported an overall improvement in their situation.
“It’s important we take care of young people who may not have the best start in life, providing them with a supportive and safe environment in which to access the help they need to work their way back from homelessness.”
Mr Perrett said the extra support will help Career Employment Australia and other Reconnect services in urban, regional, rural and remote communities continue to provide counselling, mediation and practical support for young people and their families.
“Career Employment Australia is truly a great organisation working hard in the Salisbury community to support young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, to find them long term housing and support their physical, emotional and social wellbeing,” Mr Perrett said.
“Reconnect also provides group programs, community development projects, and works with other agencies on raising awareness for early intervention in youth homelessness.
“By providing young people and their families with the support they need we can make a difference and help to reduce homelessness.”
Mr O’Connor said the Gillard Government’s investment in Reconnect was an important part of Labor’s continued commitment to supporting vulnerable people.
“With today being Youth Homelessness Matters Day, it is also an important time to raise awareness but also celebrate the resilience of young people who have got back on their feet,” Mr O’Connor said.
“This year’s theme, Be Part of the Solution, is a reminder that we all have a part to play to break the cycle of homelessness and give young people a better future.”
Youth Homelessness Matters Day is being held during National Youth Week. For more information please visit www.youthhomelessnessmatters.net
For more information on the Reconnect Program please visit www.fahcsia.gov.au