The commitment by the Australian Labor Party for six new Education First Youth Foyers, if elected, in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, is warmly welcomed by the Foyer Foundation.
The commitment is for Education First Youth Foyers in:
· Kingswood in western Sydney
· Alice Springs
The Cairns and Alice Springs Youth Foyers are the first ones in Australia specifically for Indigenous students.
The Foyer Foundation is a national organisation that promotes the development of Youth Foyers for homeless young people, which combine housing with support to study, develop life skills and work towards careers suited to their capabilities, interests and aspirations.
Three Education First Youth Foyers are already in place in Victoria and are student residences that enable young people aged 16 to 24 years who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness to study while in stable and secure housing.
They are situated on TAFE campuses and the students are supported by the TAFE institutes and housing and youth support agencies.
Keith Bryant, Chair of the Foyer Foundation Board, said: “‘Young people experiencing homelessness are often forced to sleep rough in our cities and country areas, get by in crisis accommodation or ‘couch surf’ with friends or relatives.
“They are often keen to study, but lacking not only stable accommodation but also the personal and academic support to build confidence and skills, they struggle to do so.”
Sinead Gibney-Hughes, Executive Officer of the Foyer Foundation, said: “For young people who are unable to rely on family support in this critical life stage, Foyers provide the time, personalised attention, mentoring, coaching and access to opportunities needed to lead fulfilling, independent and productive lives.
“The most constructive thing we can do for young people is to ensure they become educated, employable and empowered so they can build better lives for themselves.”
The Foyer Foundation works in partnership with the national anti-poverty group the Brotherhood of St Laurence.