From early next year, the Methodist Mission Southern will be delivering an innovative youth transitional housing programme to help around 24 young people living in Dunedin each year, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams announced today.
“Methodist Mission Southern’s new initiative will provide stable transitional housing for at-risk youth, and a platform for them to engage in education and training,” says Minister Adams.
The programme delivered by support service provider Methodist Mission Southern will provide supervised accommodation for six young people at a time in a 7-bedroom home. In addition, they will receive support into education or training, then into long-term housing.
The Government will provide around $666,000 over the next two years to fund accommodation and service delivery costs for this programme.
“For some young people engaged in education during the day, the positive progress they are making is at risk if they are in unstable housing. These young people need stable housing combined with intensive support in order to change their lives for the better,” says Ms Adams.
“This programme takes a fresh approach to meeting the needs of young people who are at risk of homelessness or living in insecure housing, and will help them to make the most of their opportunities and stay on track with their education and employment goals.”
Methodist Mission Southern identified a gap for youth transitional housing services in Dunedin, after observing the education and training challenges faced by youth aged 16-19 years old who were living in an insecure housing situation, such as sleeping rough or in cars, or couch surfing.
Young people on the programme will live in the shared home for an average of 12 weeks. While they are there they will receive assistance to develop life skills and support with education or employment opportunities. It is expected that the young people staying in the home will transition into secure housing. This could include returning to family, accessing housing provided by other social housing providers or private rentals.
Methodist Mission Southern work throughout Otago and Southland, and have delivered specialist educational and social support services to high-needs youth learners for over 20 years.
There are currently 20 transitional housing places in Dunedin, which are managed by two providers, The Salvation Army and Women’s Refuge.