LOCAL agencies and community partners are working together to secure the Studio Purpose youth accommodation and well-being initiative in Murray Bridge. Habitat for Humanity is leading the construction phase of the innovative project and has already raised more than $60,000 of the $100,000 target to start construction.
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Habitat for Humanity Australia, Habitat for Humanity South Australia, Anglicare SA, Rural City of Murray Bridge, headspace Murray Bridge, SA Housing Authority
UNITED: Studio Purpose project partner representatives Rural City of Murray Bridge deputy mayor Wayne Thorley, draftsman Steve Brown, Murray Bridge Habitat for Humanity representative Bob Martin, Habitat for Humanity South Australian executive director Ben Sarre, AnglicareSA housing assets and maintenance manager Garry Spurling, ac.care homelessness and community services senior manager Trish Spark, SA Housing Authority Southern Country regional manager Kerrie McCann, ac.care Murraylands homelessness program manager Thanuja Hiripitiyage, SA Housing Authority Southern Country maintenance field manager Scott Wells and ac.care chief executive officer Shane Maddocks at the vacant property in Murray Bridge that will be converted to four units for vulnerable youth.
A BOLD cross-agency initiative is being led by ac.care to deliver accommodation and support for young people at risk of homelessness in Murray Bridge.
Significant funds have been raised to make the vision a reality with a vacant property secured, partnerships formalised and a broad program designed to address the needs of young people.
The community, along with individuals and businesses in the construction sector, is being urged to support the initiative to convert a disused South Australian Housing Authority building into four self-contained and fully-furnished units for short-term lease by youths aged 15-21.
The Studio Purpose project extends beyond accommodation to include broad support to help vulnerable young people reach their potential.
South Australia’s branch of international non-profit organisation Habitat for Humanity is driving the construction phase of the project to convert the building from a duplex to units.
“The project is aimed at addressing a shortage of safe accommodation for young people in the area, but is about much more than a warm bed and welcoming space, with a focus on health and wellbeing, education, development, connection and engagement,” ac.care Murraylands homelessness program manager Thanuja Hiripitiyage said.
She said the project was developed through cooperation with other organisations and government agencies after ac.care identified an issue with young people being unable to find suitable and affordable accommodation in the Murray Bridge area.
“This has contributed to some young people sleeping rough in inappropriate living conditions, adding further risk in the lives of vulnerable youths,” Ms Hiripitiyage said.
The partnership also involves AnglicareSA, South Australian Housing Authority, headspace Murray Bridge and Rural City of Murray Bridge.
“We want to reduce youth homelessness in the region by building on our existing services and creating positive partnerships with key stakeholders to provide holistic support to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” Ms Hiripitiyage said.
Project partners will deliver services to tenants via agreements either through home visits or with external priority appointments and develop exit strategies to help youths transition from the units to reunification with families, private rental arrangements or other housing options.
To contribute to the construction phase of the project, call local Habitat for Humanity representative Bob Martin on 0423 497 706, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit accare.org.au/studiopurpose