Hitting the streets on Friday and Saturday nights, starting from Friday 1 November, a purpose-built trailer is set to provide Canberra PCYC another avenue to engage with young people.
Canberra PCYC general manager Stephen Imrie said the trailer will “provide us with an engagement tool to drop in on areas known to PCYC and police where there’s particularly large numbers of young people who are on the streets, some of whom would be experiencing homelessness”.
“We know that there are over 400 young people experiencing homelessness in Canberra,” he said. “And we know often they are not getting access to the services that they need.”
Young people reported to be sleeping rough across the region is often due to family relationship breakdown or not feeling safe at home.
The trailer will be used to provide a hot meal, hot or cold drinks, information brochures from services available and “the opportunity to talk to a qualified youth worker and, through that, gain access to services”.
Mr Imrie said the trailer will be staffed by a minimum of two PCYC workers while other community organisations will provide qualified staff “such as health nurses that will join in and help with referral processes”.
The trailer was made possible through support provided by the IMB Community Foundation while support from the ACT Chief Minister’s Charitable Funds, distributed through Hands Across Canberra, is helping to fund staff.
In addition to the trailer, Mr Imrie said they are working with the Youth Coalition to get some more data on youth facing homelessness in Canberra, while Canberra PCYC has also put proposals in to government for a youth crisis and therapeutic support centre for those under 16 years of age.
Cheryl O’Donnell, Executive Manager for Canberra PCYC, said: “Our end goal is to have an accommodation therapeutic hub to support young people under 16, bringing in other services to ensure these young people receive appropriate support.”