Victoria’s largest youth homelessness service provider, Melbourne City Mission (MCM), is pioneering a 24-hour crisis accommodation centre, with support services around the clock, to help the increasing numbers of young Victorians experiencing homelessness.
Located in Melbourne’s CBD, Frontyard Youth Services is a four-storey building which contains two floors of new crisis accommodation and connected services, designed to disrupt the cycle of youth homelessness in Victoria.
The redeveloped Frontyard is the result of a pioneering model, the first in the country to combine crisis accommodation with multiple support services, all under one roof operating 24 hours, 7 days a week.
"Only a fully-integrated service will effectively meet the needs of our most marginalised young people with complex needs who are currently falling through the cracks of silo-ed service systems," says Vicki Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne City Mission.
"The new Frontyard model has been specifically created to offer a trauma-informed response to youth homelessness," says Ms Sutton.
"The redevelopment addresses gaps in the current system. This model is particularly targeted to a group of young people who, due to their tragic life circumstances, experience severe and multiple disadvantage such as mental illness, trauma, disabilities and substance abuse," Ms Sutton said.
"These young people can exhibit challenging behaviours making it hard for them to access many of the services currently available which are not equipped to support their needs. Without appropriate interventions, young people can become further entrenched in long-term homelessness and disadvantage. The pioneering Frontyard model aims to break this cycle by supporting young people to create a future where they can experience all the benefits of life we often take for granted." Ms Sutton said.
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Council has been supporting Frontyard Youth Services since 1990.
"Homelessness is one of the biggest issues facing our city right now. That’s why we’re providing support for young people experiencing homelessness by investing $480,000 in Melbourne City Mission and their new Frontyard Youth Service," the Lord Mayor said.
"This fantastic service provides a safe and welcoming space in the central city for young people aged between 16 and 25 to receive support and engage with services. These caring and holistic programs are crucial in ensuring young people don’t get stuck in a cycle of homelessness."
"After a four-year journey, including 18 months of construction, we are ready to open our doors at last. And we could not have bought this to life without the support of the Victorian Government and our valued and generous supporters." Ms Sutton concluded.