Making a difference to young lives

St John’s Youth Services (SJYS) is achieving remarkable and enduring success in moving young people out of dependency and into the orbit of their own lives.

SSM contributes significantly to SJYS each year, and members were keen to hear from Chief Executive Officer, Wendy Malycha.

Wendy spoke at the November Chapter Meeting about SJYS’s dramatically different service model to youth homelessness, and went on to tell some moving stories that demonstrate how SJYS is getting it right.

Next Step is a multiple-award-winning intensive outreach-based program of SJYS, which supports young people to move to independence in the community by ensuring access to the private rental market. It also provides outreach support for up to a year, helping them develop the life skills they require and to connect with their local community.

‘Next Step is just that, a stepping stone from a time when things are pretty rough back to living in their own place, earning and/or learning, living healthily, and quite often contributing to the community’, says Wendy.

Next Step has supported more than 500 young people over the past five years. Of these, an astonishing 450 (or 90%) are still living in private rental accommodation. ‘This success rate is at least three times higher than that achieved by alternative approaches’, says Wendy.

Other accommodation services offered by SJYS are: youth110, which provides 30 self-contained apartments in the centre of the city and 24-hour case-management support; and Ladder St Vincent Street in Port Adelaide, South Australia’s leading education and development environment for young people who have experienced homelessness.

Next Step is just that, a stepping stone from a time when things are pretty rough back to living in their own place, earning and/or learning, living healthily, and quite often contributing to the community

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