Homeless youth in Eden to benefit from short-term accommodation

Organisations and the community have come together to donate a caravan for youths affected by homelessness.

The Reaching Out Foundation purchased the caravan for $4400 and it will be used as short-term youth accommodation by South East Women And Children Services (SEWACS), while it will be owned and managed by the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast.

The foundation’s chairman Ross Williams said it was not commonly known there was a large problem with youth homelessness. 

“I think youth suffer in silence,” he said. 

“They can also be the victim of domestic violence or they may want to leave home because it’s not a good environment for them.” 

Majestic Motorhomes in Frogs Hollow helped to find the caravan and performed some repairs while it was to be picked up on Wednesday and taken to Eden where two young people were already waiting to move in.  

“There’s a greater need in Eden at the moment because there’s a lack of options and not enough services to support the youth and not enough available public housing in the area,” SEWACS manager Melissa Blain-Woodley said. 

The groups hope to obtain more caravans in the future which will go to where the need is greatest. 

Reaching Out Foundation director Danielle Collins said historically her organisation has set up social cafes, with ones in Bega, Pambula, Narooma and Cooma.

“We’ve turned our focus to homelessness because there’s a huge need,” she said. 

Last year the foundation was part of two campaigns by homelessness action group StreetSmart. CafeSmart asked people to donate a dollar for every cup of coffee purchased while DineSmart asked people going to restaurants to donate $2 per table.

Ms Collins said CafeSmart will run again in the Bega Valley in June while DineSmart will run from November to December, with money raised going to the homeless and disadvantage.

The Reaching Out Foundation wants to hear from anyone with a caravan no longer in use interested in assisting the area. You can also donate to the foundation to help it purchase more caravans.

To find out more, visit www.reachingout.org.au