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$2M to protect homeless teen mums

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yourtown has announced a capital works investment of  approx $2 million to further develop infrastructure at San Miguel Family Centre to house vulnerable young mothers, their infants and children facing the risk of homelessness.

According to yourtown Chief Executive Officer Tracy Adams, we cannot protect those most at risk if we are not looking at ensuring the ultimate safety net is in place – safe and secure accommodation.

“Young parents are particularly vulnerable to experiencing homelessness. Just providing a roof over their heads will never be enough.  Any solution for young parents must include an assessment of the complexity of situations faced by young parents, combined with safe accommodation, therapeutic case management, practical skills development and training,” said Adams.

For 36 years, yourtown’s San Miguel Family Centre in Sydney has been providing not just temporary accommodation for parents and children but also counselling and guidance to help families tackle the issues creating homelessness. By reshaping the service model to specialise in housing and educating young parents, San Miguel homed 40 parents under 25 years and 51 children during 2018. Very young parents make up an alarmingly large proportion of young people experiencing homelessness.  Being young and homeless is tough enough, but it’s so much harder when you have the needs of a child to consider.

“The youngest homeless parent at San Miguel to date has been 15 years old with the average age of most parents at the centre around 19 years of age," Adams said.

“Young families are often stigmatised, disenfranchised, left out of the general community, and criticised publicly.  At San Miguel we offer specialist child and youth development support; expressive therapy to help children overcome possible trauma; life skills development and links to employment, health, legal, medical and other specialist services.

“This year’s Homelessness Week theme of  ‘Housing ends homelessness’ offers an opportunity to raise awareness about why people become homeless, the effect on individuals and the community as a whole,” she continued.

This $2 M development is solely funded by yourtown Prize Home draws, donations and corporate support. 

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