Community Organisation 'Youth Off The Streets' Increases Vital Support Services In Fairfield
As a survivor of family violence, no one appreciates the vital services Youth Off The Streets offers more than Brad*.
Youth Off The Streets has been operating for 30 years, working with young people experiencing disadvantage to turn their lives around.
Now 20 years old, Brad was homeless, addicted to methamphetamines and in breach of his parole conditions when he was referred to Youth Off The Streets.
Sadly, Brad's case is not an isolated one. Domestic and family violence remains a key safety concern in the Western Sydney region, which has higher than average reported rates than the rest of New South Wales.
Through Youth Off The Streets' range of services, including outreach and residential programs, crisis accommodation, alcohol and other drug services, counselling and accredited independent high schools, the organisation supported over 4,000 young people in 2020, including 270 through their Fairfield Outreach Service.
This was at a time when the impacts of COVID-19 further isolated young people and in many cases heightened the harsh realities they faced in their day-to-day life.
"Prior to COVID-19, many of our outreach activities in Fairfield were delivered through events such as sport and recreational activities at public locations like Cabravale Memorial Park," said Lex Nadine Lutherborrow, Youth Off The Streets' CEO.
"We had to adapt quickly due to social distancing requirements and other restrictions. Our teams changed their approach to focus more on delivering individual support in place of group events and meetings.
"We also started regular street walks in Fairfield as an outreach activity to ensure young people weren't missing out on referrals to services that could support them," she said.
After Brad's referral to Youth Off The Streets, he was assigned a youth worker who worked with him to identify his goals and write a case plan.
Today, Brad is in stable accommodation, attending regular counselling sessions and has not used any drugs in 11 months. The Youth Off The Streets team has also worked with him on gaining important living skills, such as cooking simple meals.
With an ongoing commitment to supporting the local community, Mounties Group, as part of their ClubGRANTS program, has contributed a grant of $21,000 towards the Fairfield Outreach Service.
"We rely on generous grants like this from Mounties Group," said Ms Lutherborrow.
"This grant in particular, received during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, allowed us to increase our individual support, which was absolutely vital during lockdown," she said.