Integrated service approach helps end youth homelessness

New research shows an integrated service approach helps end youth homelessness

A recent evaluation of the Education First Youth Foyers shows integrated services help end homelessness for many at-risk young people in our communities.

The Foyers program empowers young people experiencing homelessness, by giving them access and the chance to pursue education and employment, while in safe and secure housing.
Launch Housing operates the Foyers with the Brotherhood of St Laurence at two locations in Melbourne.
This new long-term evaluation report shows the Foyers model improves outcomes in the following areas:

    • Education
    • Employment
    • Housing
    • Health and wellbeing.

The research has found that the majority of the young people living at the Foyers have been able to sustain housing a year after exiting the program.

Youth Foyers Joseph and Marion

(Image: Research and Policy Centre researchers and report authors Joseph Borlagdan and Marion Coddou)

The report by Professor Mallett and Brotherhood of St Laurence researchers, Marion Coddou and Joseph Borlagdan, finds improvement in the areas of housing, education, health and wellbeing, which all contribute to more positive outcomes for young people.

Housing & Living Skills

The Foyers work to develop young people’s living skills and supports access to housing.
This study shows that young people were able to improve housing independence when exiting the Foyers and after a year, continued to live in a safe, stable home.

Launch Housing Kiara and Ralph

(Image: Kiara and Ralph Foyer students)

The percentage living in their own place (renting or owning) increased from 7% at entry to 43% at exit, and to 51% a year later.

Meanwhile, young people sleeping rough or living in crisis accommodation, treatment centres or detention declined from 32% at entry to 3% at exit, and to 2% a year later.

Education

The Foyers enabled young people to pursue education qualifications necessary to sustain employment. In total, about 70% of participants had either achieved a higher qualification or were still enrolled a year after exit. Of those who had not completed a higher education qualification, 70% were still enrolled a year after exit.

(Image: Brotherhood Executive Director Conny Lenneberg with Launch Housing Chief Executive Officer Bevan Warner)

Employment

Foyer staff created opportunities for young people to find internships, work experience, mentors and jobs aligned with their goals and plans.

The year following exit, about 85% of participants worked or studied. The percentage of participants employed, which includes part-time or casual work, increased from 19% at entry to 31% at exit and 36% a year later.
Youth homelessness is on the rise, and the integrated services at the Education First Youth Foyers provides a holistic service option for youth at risk of, or experiencing homelessness.

The Foyers service gives young people the chance to find and keep a home as well as build and sustain employment with the chance of a bright future.

Learn more about the evaluation report.

Read stories from our Foyer students Eduard and Kristy.