Baptist Care SA has been working with young people experiencing homelessness in the Inner Southern Region of Adelaide for over 25 years. 250 young people annually are provided with emergency, transitional and longer-term accommodation.
One in five young people presenting to our homelessness services have experienced domestic or family violence and 17% struggle with alcohol misuse. There is a high incidence of significant family and relationship breakdown. The majority of young people in the service identify as having mental ill health issues, including depression and anxiety.
Although family re-unification is sought and encouraged, that outcome is often not possible. Young people without positive supportive relationships remain at a greater risk of social exclusion, mental ill-health, risk-taking behaviours and experience difficulties retaining tenancies. To help facilitate a healthy transition from homelessness, we are increasingly using place based approaches to engage community members and stakeholders and tap into local skills and resources to meet the unique needs of the homeless young people in their region.
The collaborative partnership between Blackwood Hills Baptist Church and Baptist Care SA’s Youth Homelessness Service is an example of this. By fostering healthy friendships between young people in the region, including young people experiencing homelessness, and homed youths from the church, via a broad range of social activities, natural friendships are encouraged and stronger social networks built.
The partnership has been in place for six months and early indicators show positive development in many of the young people who are participating.
This initiative was showcased in the Baptist Care SA presentation to the Autumn Assembly including a short DVD clip which can be seen here: