New crisis accomodation facility for Melton youth

Young Melton people at risk of homelessness have been given new hope.

Hope Street Youth and Family Services has applied to Melton council to build a crisis- response centre, designed to give young people forced out of home a roof for the night.

At this month’s council meeting, acting community services general manager Michael Tudball reported to councillors about Hope Street’s plans to expand its services. At present, Hope Street offers only transitional housing – up to two years – for young people. The centre has 16 beds.

Social workers support young people who are homeless and vulnerable as a result and try to engage them back at school or into work.

Hope Street chief executive Donna Bennett said the need to open a crisis-response centre was emphasised by research results.

“The new facility we are proposing to open, which is still in its very early stages, is a facility for young people who are in crisis,” Ms Bennett said. “They might find themselves homeless that day, or even that hour.

“And if they’ve got nowhere to go, who do they call?”

Ms Bennett said the main reason adults and young people were forced out of homes was domestic violence, with family breakdown due to poverty, unemployment and mental health issues also underlying issues.

The organisation hopes to fill a void in the Melton community, which has no crisis accommodation for young people.

“We know young people in Melton are telling us they don’t want to leave. They want to stay in the local area with their local connections.

“We’re working with local MPs, businesses and council to see if we can establish some type of crisis response here. We’ll be launching our research in about a month and we’ll be looking at a fundraising campaign.”

Councillors agreed, in principle, to the youth and family services group’s proposal to investigate a site on Hope Street. They delegated chief executive Kel Tori to negotiate opportunities for access to council’s space.

Presenting the report, Mr Tudball said nothing could yet be confirmed or negotiated, with plans still in the early stages.