Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$499,000 to continue addressing Youth Homelessness in Bega

Joint Media Release with:

  • Mike Kelly MP, Member for Eden-Monaro

Tanya Plibersek and Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, today announced the Bega Reconnect service is being offered $499,000 over the next two years to continue supporting local young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Ms Plibersek said this funding is part of the Australian Government’s $48 million commitment nationally to continue Reconnect, an important early intervention program addressing youth homelessness.

“The Rudd Government made addressing youth homelessness a priority when it released the Homelessness White Paper last December, which lays out a comprehensive plan to tackle homelessness,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Bega Reconnect provides comprehensive support to a broad range of young people across the Bega Shire.

“Over the next two years, improvements in funding arrangements will allow Bega Reconnect to work more closely with community organisations and government agencies as part our commitment to linked-up services in the Homelessness White Paper.”

Dr Kelly said the continued support for Reconnect Bega was a great result for vulnerable young people and the community.

“Through this funding, Reconnect will be able to continue to deliver services such as counselling, group work, family mediation and practical support to young people aged 12-18,” Dr Kelly said.

“There will now be closer links with other support services, such as mental health, to ensure the needs of individuals are met.

“To effectively tackle homelessness we need early intervention services such as Reconnect to maximise the economic and social participation opportunities for these vulnerable young people.”

Throughout 2008, Reconnect supported about 7000 young people nationally and achieved outcomes in areas including accommodation, education and family reconciliation.

The White Paper provides an additional $1.2 billion over four years – a 55 per cent increase in investment in homelessness and a substantial down payment on a twelve year reform agenda.

The Homelessness White Paper contains ambitious targets – to halve homelessness and offer accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

The Government is also investing $6.4 billion to build 20,000 social housing dwellings across Australia as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.