FoyerInvest pre-budget submission: An opportunity for NSW Government to create pathways to thriving, independent futures for young people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
Nearly a quarter (22%) of all people experiencing homelessness in NSW are children and young people. 3 in 5 young people requesting Specialist Homelessness Support (SHS) support are repeat users. Too many young people are being trapped in intergenerational cycles of disadvantage that span intersecting policy domains – housing, education, employment, health, domestic violence, mental health and more.
For young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Youth Foyers offer a pathway out of this cycle towards independent, thriving futures. A Youth Foyer provides a safe and stable home for approximately 40 young people aged 16-24, with integrated education and employment supports under one roof for up to two years.
Within two years of living in a Youth Foyer, a young person has what they need to change their life trajectory. Over 80% of young people exit into safe and stable housing, 65% gain secure and decent employment, and they are 60% less likely to be involved in the justice system.
There are currently 11 accredited Youth Foyers in Australia, with a further 9 due to be accredited by the end of 2023. In NSW there are 60 Foyer units provided in the Illawarra by Southern Youth and Family Services, and 53 units provided through Foyer Central in Sydney. That is less than 120 units for all of NSW and falls far short of Shelter NSW’s conservatively estimated demand for 822 units in NSW.
FoyerInvest – a National consortium of leading service organisations, philanthropists and investors supported by the Foyer Foundation – has identified a strong pipeline of Youth Foyer projects ready for development in communities across NSW. At least four of these sites are ready for development within 2 years and are seeking investment.
We are seeking NSW Government commitment to invest in at least 4 new Youth Foyers in NSW to enable young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to transition to independent, thriving futures.
The Foyer Foundation is making this submission on behalf of the FoyerInvest consortium in NSW including Uniting NSW/ACT, Mission Australia, CatholicCare Broken Bay, Orana Support Services, and Platform Youth Services.