Clover Moore MP, Member for Sydney and Lord Mayor this week will launch two reports on a unique project that helped prevent young people from ending up on Kings Cross streets.
“Kings Cross and the inner city are where so many young people live desperate and vulnerable existences, pushed into illegal activities and exploited. It’s vital that we try to break that cycle and give them a chance to get their lives together,” Ms Moore said.
“During two years, the Kings Cross Youth at Risk Project brokerage program made over 350 brokerage payments to young people needing help with housing, food, medical services, education and transport, to prevent them becoming entrenched in street living.
“They mostly needed food and emergency accommodation, and 44 clients needed transport to get out of the Cross, back home to family and support networks. Only two of those 44 returned to the area,” Ms Moore said.
“Regular joint outreach sweeps kept service providers informed about current needs, with 250 young people interviewed overall. The groups most at risk are young pregnant women and young parents; young people with complex health needs; and young people needing transport and accommodation.
Joint outreach sweeps informed the 12 participating agencies about current concerns and allowed them to focus resources where most needed. An Outreach Coordination Committee improved referrals and access to services, so that young people received prompt individualised help.
“The project allowed agencies to intervene earlier, provide more intensive work with individual young people at risk and achieve better outcomes.
The reports recommend continuation of the brokerage program and regular sweeps every quarter, and Ms Moore has asked for ongoing funds in a Parliamentary Question.
“The just-released Australia’s Homeless Youth report identifies nearly 5,000 young people homeless in NSW alone and 22,000 across Australia, with the cost of not helping calculated at more than half a billion dollars. Projects like the Kings Cross Youth at Risk Project help people get back on their feet and save money,” Ms Moore concluded.
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