People have a home, financial resilience, education and employment

Everyone needs a safe and stable place to call home, the ability to manage their money to meet their daily needs, and access to education and employment. At YFS we do what it takes to address people’s immediate needs and stabilise their situation so they can move from crisis to thriving.

2020-21 Highlights

  • Substation33 provided 3,500 refurbished computers for children and young people to help them succeed in education.

  • Our Spark program helped 84 people get back into work, preventing or overcoming homelessness, with funding from the Queensland Government’s Dignity First grants scheme.

  • Our evaluation of the Thriving Families Project showed that the integration of specialist housing and general family supports works.

  • We helped more than 1,500 people understand their money, bills and loans, advised them how to negotiate better credit deals, and helped people avoid getting into financial difficulties.

  • Our Financial Counsellors helped 80 clients secure $470,638 worth of waivers from unfair debt.

  • Short-term increased government funding for our financial capability and emergency relief services helped meet demand associated with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Substation33 used a Get Set for Work grant to provide 16 participants with training leading to a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways and a Certificate I in Engineering, as well as improved life skills.

Future change

YFS will lead an Advance to Zero approach in Logan to reduce homelessness through a collaboration across organisations, health-care services, government and the community.

We will implement a women’s employment mentoring program. This new iteration of our successful Spark employment program is funded by the Federal Government’s Office for Women.

Quick statistics

387 individuals and families accessed specialist housing support from our housing teams

1,539 people were supported to manage money and debts

1,036 people were supported by our education and employment teams

Changing the way we tackle homelessness

Homelessness and housing stress affects about 40% of the people we work with across YFS, and the tight rental market emerging in 2021 has exacerbated these pressures. We know some people need additional support to be able to sustain housing and avoid recurring episodes of homelessness.

In 2020-21, we published our evaluation of the Thriving Families Project, which clearly showed the effectiveness of integrating specialist housing workers with family workers who can help people gain the skills and resources to sustain tenancies, address other issues and pursue their unique goals. We expanded this integrated approach to our Step by Step Young Families team, enabling our Housing Specialist to work with 31 families who needed support with housing.

From October 2021 we will add Housing Specialists to five YFS teams working with families across Logan and Beaudesert to offer the benefit of housing expertise coupled with family support.

Spark helps Ani save her home

“Spark was essential in supporting me to find employment and independence. Vanessa prioritised my individual needs and kept me accountable. She helped me write up a new resume, put me in touch with employers and followed up - you can’t ignore her! Today I’m in a good place. I’m taking care of necessities, paying a car off, and I’ve never missed a rent payment.”
- Ani

Ani was at risk of homelessness when she first contacted YFS. It took her a while to build up the confidence to reach out to YFS for support to find housing and work, but she’s glad she did. Now Ani is working hours that suit her and her family, she is a lot more independent, her children are settled in a routine, and she says that she is building a good backbone for her children.

Ricky and Tayla learn to thrive

When Tayla and Ricky first approached YFS they had no house, just some bags and a few bits of clothing. YFS’ Housing Specialist quickly helped them find a home, supporting them to move through the real estate process and sustain their tenancy. Over 12 months, YFS Family Coaches also worked with the family, helping them set goals for their future, working on building their self-confidence and referring them to other services. Today Tayla and Ricky are thriving and saving to buy their own home.

The Thriving Families program is an integrated response to help families with young children get housed fast, then pursue goals to build a good life for themselves and their children.

Watch Tayla and Ricky’s story here.

“Every goal we've had they've helped us in any way possible they could … . We still say it to this day, we wouldn't be where we are without you.”
- Thriving Families participant Ricky
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“Our Theory of Change recognises that we need to work together within YFS and also in partnership beyond our organisation to achieve lasting change.”