Secure the future — homes for young Australians

24 03 17 Foyer Canberra

The Foyer Foundation is calling on the federal government to fund 10 new accommodation sites across Australia that will house and support more than 3000 young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness over the next decade.

A consortium of 13 community organisations known as FoyerInvest is seeking funding to construct 10 new 40-unit buildings to help tackle the homelessness crisis that thousands are facing each day.

Known as “Youth Foyers”, the self-contained units with private bathroom and kitchen facilities would offer safe and secure housing to residents, along with education, employment and training opportunities and holistic support to help young people get their lives back on track.

“Contrary to common perceptions, young people experience the highest rates of homelessness among all age groups in Australia. Forty per cent of people experiencing homelessness are under the age of 24,” The Foyer Foundation CEO Liz Cameron-Smith said.

“The Prime Minister and the Minister for Housing understand the importance of secure and affordable housing for young people’s long-term futures. Now is the time for action and investment in practical housing solutions that will make an immediate impact on housing supply for young people.”

The FoyerInvest group is in Canberra on March 18 and 19 to meet with key decision makers and discuss its budget bid for $184 million in capital to build the new accommodation facilities over the next three years.

“There are too many young people being forced to couch surf, live in cars, in overcrowded or unsafe homes or even on the streets,” Cameron-Smith said.

“Foyers are a proven solution that gives young people who are ready to learn and earn a way out of homelessness.

“Our partners have identified 16 communities in regional, remote and metropolitan places where a Foyer would make a significant difference to the lives of the young people and their communities. An investment of $184 million in this budget will mean we can get to work on delivering 10 more Foyers.”

Funding these services will help the federal government meet its commitment to combat youth homelessness and leave no-one behind.

“Our housing and support system is operating well beyond capacity. Two in 3 young people seeking medium-term housing support are turned away. Youth Foyers address this gap by offering young people a safe and stable home for up to two years, combined with the coaching and support they need to transition from homelessness towards independent, thriving futures.,” Cameron-Smith said.

“This not only benefits each young person, it also has positive impacts for their families, communities and our economy.”

Independent modelling by Accenture found Youth Foyers significantly reduced the cost to state and federal governments of supporting young people experiencing homelessness.

The Under One Roof report found that every dollar invested by governments in a Youth Foyer generated an additional $6 in benefits. The benefits of a young person supported through a Foyer were $172,417 in reduced lifetime costs per person.

The modelling found 65 per cent of young people in a Foyer were in employment on exit, reducing the need for welfare by $47,330 per person throughout their lifetime.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO and Co-Chair of the Queensland FoyerInvest Working Group, Sara Parrott said now is the time for all levels of government to come together and create investment pathways that can bring more Foyers to life across Australia.

“As a philanthropic foundation we believe the best way to invest in the future is through our young people, especially those experiencing hardship and adversity.

“We know that the lack of a safe and stable home prevents many young people from being able to focus on their goals around employment, training, and wellbeing. We also know that the Foyer model works in addressing all these barriers, and that it helps young people change their life trajectories.

“Hand Heart Pocket got behind the FoyerInvest approach because we know that other impact investors and philanthropic foundations like us are looking to invest in scalable and evidence-based initiatives, particularly housing solutions. What is missing however, is the coordinated investment pathway at a state and national level to bring it all together.

“The Albanese Government has an important opportunity to bring State and Territory Governments, philanthropic foundations and impact investors together, to unlock the necessary investment pathways and scale the Foyer model nationally.

“Investing in Foyers is an investment in the lives of young people in need across Australia. We each have an important role to play in making this happen and the recent commitment by the Queensland State Government to fund eight new Youth Foyers is a great example of the commitment that’s needed from all jurisdictions.

“With leadership from the Albanese Government, we can act now and change the system for generations of young people to come.”


About The Foyer Foundation

The Foyer Foundation is a national for-purpose organisation that unlocks thriving futures for young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We do this by growing the reach and impact of Youth Foyers. Youth Foyers offer 16-24 year olds a safe and stable place to live for up to two years, integrating housing, education, employment and life skills support all under one roof.

We catalyse momentum towards a national goal of 50 Foyers by 2030 by bringing together young people, community organisations, philanthropists and governments in diverse communities across Australia. We connect and align activities nationally; ensure quality services through accreditation, learning and development; build the evidence base; and advocate with young people and our growing network.

About the FoyerInvest Consortium

FoyerInvest is a national consortium of service providers, community housing providers, philanthropists and impact investors seeking to grow the reach and impact of Youth Foyers.


Photo: Image by freepik


Receive all of the latest news & publications

Share This

Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page