Learn how we offer more than a safe place to sleep for young males needing crisis accommodation
Anglicare provides 24 hour fully supported crisis accommodation in Hobart for young males aged 13 – 20 years.
“The nature of crisis accommodation is that it’s temporary. Kids are constantly moving on,” explained Noel Mundy, Anglicare’s General Manager for Housing and Community.
But while their stay may be only for a night or a few weeks at most, the support offered goes beyond simply providing these young people with a safe place to sleep.
“While they are staying with us our support workers take the time to mentor these young males. They role model pro-social behaviors, conflict resolution and strongly encourage self-advocacy,” said Noel.
“The kids are shown life skills and are guided in self-care. We expect them to clean their rooms and help with chores around the house”.
Young people are also invited to join in grocery shopping. And as part of this they are involved with menu planning and budgets. Plus they are encouraged to take daily showers and clean their teeth regularly. Support workers also take them to medical and dental appointments, for counselling, meetings with service providers, to court and if relevant, to school.
“We also offer regular outings – to the beach, for a walk or out to a park for a BBQ,” said Noel. “Our support workers have observed these kids like just sitting in the car driving around. It’s a reflective space for them and a chance for them to self-regulate”.
Every effort is made to find longer term accommodation for the young people.
But as Noel reported, “This can be challenging due to waiting lists, for both supported youth accommodation and public housing”.
There’s also support for reunification with families.
However, this is often not a realistic possibility. “Many kids needing crisis accommodation have never been cared for by nurturing parents,” explained Noel. “Instead they’ve been left to fend for themselves. Often they’ve witnessed and even been subjected to violence. And as an everyday part of life. On top of this, many struggle with drug and alcohol addictions, and this may have been the case since birth”.
These young people have simply not had the opportunity to grow like other children, especially in the crucial stage from birth to 5 years. By the time they reach school they are already behind their peers. And their behaviors can reflect their life experiences.
“They’ve grown up without parenting, with insecure housing and as a consequence their schooling has been disrupted. They’re children who’ve experienced trauma,” said Noel.
But despite the harsh reality of their lives, there is hope.
“Our support workers have observed these kids often have strong values of loyalty, trust and respect,” said Noel.
You can find out more about the services we provide for all people experiencing or at risk of homelessness at Housing Support.