A new home for youths experiencing homelessness
In December 2021, Unison unveiled new purpose-built supported accommodation for young people in Werribee.
The new building, owned and managed by Unison, is a youth foyer providing accommodation and dedicated case work support for up to two years to young people aged 16 -25 years that are homeless.
The service, delivered in partnership with Melbourne City Mission (MCM), aims to prevent adult homelessness and establish young people in safe and secure housing at a critical developmental life stage.
”We are proud to open the doors to a place that will offer the stability from which vulnerable young people in the City of Wyndham can make choices, seek opportunities, and create links to their community,” Unison CEO James King said.
”While this project is on the smaller scale compared to our other development projects, this new service will deliver and yield outstanding outcomes for its residents and the community at large, both in the short- and long-term,” he added.
Modern facilities designed with wellbeing in mind
The new facility offers eight self-contained apartments, with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, across two levels, along with a ground floor communal lounge and an outdoor communal space with barbecue facilities.
The building’s design and philosphy focused on creating a healing space for the the residents by using natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious living spaces and private balconies in each apartment and landscaping around the building.
We design buildings to ensure that our water, electricity and gas services are efficient, sensible and protect our tenants from run-away usage costs.
Like for all our developments, sustainable design features were at the forefront of our mind. Our committment to sustainability includes ensuring that water, electricity and gas services are efficient and sensible to protect our renters from run-away usage costs.
New supported accommodation service delivery model in Werribee
Funded by the Victorian Government via the Health Housing and Homelessness (H3) Alliance, Unison will take on the tenancy management role while MCM will be based on site and provide medium-term intensive support to residents.
The focus of the support will be on facilitating access to education, training and employment while working with young people to develop their independent living skills. MCM’s onsite support team will also deliver group programs for residents and foster connections within the broader Wyndham community.
“It’s integral that our services support young people to develop the skills they need to grow into adulthood, while remaining connected to their local community,” MCM CEO Vicki Sutton said.
Victorian Government funding of $3.8 million was given to this project and is part of a broader partnership funding agreement aimed to tackle youth homelessness in the Wyndham area with the H3 Alliance. The balance of the project was funded by Unison.
“The Victorian Government is committed to funding more youth housing to help young people get back on their feet and turn their lives around,” Victorian Treasurer and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas explained.
“The Victorian Government has funded record amounts into housing and will continue to invest in tangible projects such as this that make a real impact to people lives,” he added.
About the Health, Housing and Homelessness (H3) Alliance
Established in 2007, the H3 Alliance is a partnership of agencies representing health, housing and homelessness in the Wyndham area which aims to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by offering integrated and collaborative services across the spectrum of housing needs.
Working alongside Unison are Wyndham City Council, Melbourne City Mission, Uniting Wyndham, cohealth, Bolton Clarke Homeless Persons Program, Mercy Health - Werribee, WEstjustice, Whitelion, The Salvation Army, Wyndham Community Education Centre and Safe Futures Foundation.
In December 2016, the H3 Alliance was successful in receiving $15 million from the State Government to deliver a suite of services which include early intervention, crisis and transitional support, youth specific responses, private rental support and assistance for households in mortgage stress. The funding package also included resources to increase the supply of housing in Wyndham, including funding to purpose-build medium-term accommodation for young people in the area.
The H3 Alliance has added much needed resources to the service system in Wyndham and brought together diverse agencies to work in an integrated fashion to respond to homelessness in this rapidly growing region.