This homeless charity is changing lives, but cannot meet growing demand
“There was a lot of screaming.”
Then Kids Under Cover stepped in. The youth charity, which specializes in offering a combination of accommodation and learning scholarships, provided them with a two-bedroom studio in the courtyard.
Kelly’s eldest, a 15 year old boy and a 12 year old girl, have moved into the apartment and luckily now have their own space to study away from the younger ones and all the tension and stress.
The studio has also meant a much quieter main house, Kelly says.
“The difference since I got it has been amazing. It saved this whole family.”
Source: Children under blanket / Facebook
Prior to receiving the studio, Kelly’s offspring was literally at breaking point with her son considering a move.
With his own excavations, he rather matured, became more independent, and developed skills to cope.
Countless others, however, are not so lucky.
Data collected from some of Australia’s leading community service organizations reveals a growing number of young people in areas on the brink of homelessness.
Almost without exception, organizations like Anglicare, The Salvation Army and Berry Street expect the prospects of the already marginal 12 to 25-year-olds to deteriorate seriously over the next six months.
Two-thirds agree that a shortage of reasonable housing options and an increase in overcrowded housing are key factors in shaping the future of vulnerable young Australians.
In many cases, they will have no choice but to resort to temporary solutions such as trailers and motels or couch surfing.
Kids Under Cover CEO Jo Swift said she wasn’t surprised by the forecast.
âIn the past 18 months, we have received over 1000 inquiries for our studios, CSOs, young people and their families,â she said.
“That’s over 300% increase in demand that we’ve seen in the past 18 months, before COVID.”
Kids Under Cover has managed to set up 179 studios over the past two years but has unfortunately been forced to suspend the program because it cannot keep up.
âIt has been incredibly difficult having to turn away families when it is clear the need is there,â Ms. Swift said.
âEveryone deserves a stable and secure space to feel at home. “
Her family’s life before their studio was a punishment, Kelly says.
“It had a positive impact on the whole family. The children are more settled, everyone is more settled.”