[Sub ID 4788] ‘Distributed Foyer’ housing support (Compass Housing Services Ltd)

Submission ID: 4788
Organisation name: Compass Housing Services Ltd
Contact name: Prof David Adamson
State: NSW
Contact email: DavidA@compasshousing.org
Contact number: 0428469890

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Many young people begin adulthood in precarious situations. Causes can be as varied as family breakdown, history of family violence, physical and mental health problems, leaving care status and exiting the justice system. One of the key challenges in such circumstances is to acquire and maintain a stable home. The result for many young people is episodic homelessness causing significant disruption to further education and employment. A difficult transition to stable adulthood can also trigger lifetime benefit dependency.

Compass Housing Services, Newcastle TAFE and other partners in the Newcastle Foyer group observe these issues routinely and attempt to ameliorate them for as many young people as possible. Compass currently provides accommodation for young people at risk in its 220 Maitland Rd property, in close proximity to the TAFE Campus. However, we are unable to meet current demand for support and we experience competition for places in the building from older applicants to the Housing Pathways system faced with higher levels of personal need.

What is your idea?
Our group was formed following a review of the international evidence for the value of the Foyer approach in supporting young people into successful transitions into adulthood that achieve stable living accommodation and employment. The Foyer approach creates a contract with the young person to follow education, training and employability programs. In return, they are provided with safe, stable and secure accommodation. Our current property is not able to provide the full Foyer support model and we propose to develop a hybrid model that utilises a core accommodation block, supplemented by ‘satellite’ accommodation in the wider community.

We believe there is value in the proposal to test:
• A core accommodation provision where young people will live alongside older tenants
• A satellite accommodation model where young people will live in the general community
• A support model delivered in the central facility but with outreach characteristics to the satellites

We believe that this model will test a hypothesis that this framework will facilitate transition into adult life beyond the supported period in the Foyer. It will give young people the experience of a more socially integrated and less segregated first experience of managing a home, education and employment.