Lindel’s story: Life at an Education First Youth Foyer

Lindel is 22 and a student at one of the two Education First Youth Foyers we’ve opened in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Funded by the State Government of Victoria, the Foyers are the first of their kind in Victoria. Their aim is to help address the fact that of the 4,000 young people who are homeless on any given night in Victoria, over 50 percent are not involved in education or employment.

By providing and combining affordable accommodation, education, training and employment, Education First Youth Foyers help break the cycle of homelessness, create opportunities, and help young people lead independent and fulfilling lives.

This is Lindel’s story:

“In 2016, I had to leave my residence at 21. I contacted a youth homelessness service and was fortunate enough to be placed in three crisis refuges. My worker at the refuge informed me about the Foyer program and that I would be suitable for it. I went through two interviews and after a week, I found out that I was accepted. I was overcome with gratitude at being given the chance to experience stability in my home.

I’ve been living at the Foyer for around five months and am currently waiting to start a course in either Bachelor of Human Services at Monash or Certificate III in Childcare at Kangan. The Bachelor of Human Services focuses on helping disadvantaged communities and the childcare course is about creating nurturing environments for young, developing minds. I’d like to work in the health or childcare sector because I love helping people and I like studying anatomy and physiology.

During term-time a typical day for me consists of getting up early, completing self-directed study and assessments or going into uni and attending classes and lectures. When I’m not studying, I like to keep a routine that involves anything from catching up with friends, shopping or reading, to being a part of activities at the Foyer.

Eventually I hope to find stable living arrangements outside of the Foyer, be engaged in part-time work in the health or childcare sector and be completing my studies to ensure I have a secure future.

For me, the Foyer is my home. Sometimes my life is challenging, but I’ve received so much support and encouragement to help me achieve my goals. I’m just happy to be here where I’m safe and guaranteed stability.”