Helping to reduce youth homelessness
In 2017, Suncorp invested in the Youth CONNECT Social Benefit Bond which is managed by Churches of Christ in Queensland’s Children, Youth and Families service. The program helps improve the lives of young people transitioning from state-based care into adulthood and independence in the community.
Supported by the Queensland Government, the Youth CONNECT program aims to support vulnerable young people aged 15 to 25 who are struggling to transition to independent living by addressing the need for safe and stable housing, education and work-readiness, employment and personal development.
These young people are often unable to call on family for support and are at high risk of homelessness. This was the case for Wendy*.
Wendy had been in care since she was a baby, living in a variety of different homes and disconnected from family and friends. Since leaving care, she had been sleeping rough, couch surfing, visiting local shelters and living day-to-day.
Wendy was referred to Youth CONNECT when she was 19. She had complex health issues and was socially isolated with no family support or friendships. The Youth CONNECT team was able to help her move into a unit close to the health services she required.
“We really needed to focus on managing Wendy’s health first and foremost, which enabled her to be in less pain, so she could focus on returning to school to obtain her year 11 and 12 senior school qualification,” Kate Leslie, Youth CONNECT Service Manager said.
Wendy has started to build the skills she needs to create some stability for herself and is developing the confidence to plan for her future. She has enrolled to complete her studies, is applying for part-time work and starting to build relationships with friends.
Wendy still has personal obstacles to overcome and is learning to cope with the daily challenges of adult life, unexpected bills, relationship conflicts and job insecurity. Now, however, she has ongoing support through the Youth CONNECT program, which helps her to identify and achieve her personal goals.
The Social Benefit Bond has already supported over 90 young people and we will continue to provide support to many more throughout the life of the program.