How to engage kids in giving

Getting more out of the giving season.  The generous team at Kids in Philanthropy have some great advice - and explain how they help Youth Projects.

Source: ABC News 24

Project Press October 2014

Although youth unemployment is at its highest in decades, we’re making major inroads into job training and placement for young people, the hardest hit by a tight job market.

In this edition of Project Press we’re showcasing the turnaround results that can happen when we partner with local employers who trust and invest in their local community. We also say thank you to our very special donors and volunteers.

Our latest news here 

Laneway soccer match unites stars and homeless in Melbourne

Some of Melbourne's biggest soccer stars have joined homeless and at-risk young people for a game of street football in a city laneway.

Melbourne Victory captain Mark Milligan and player Leigh Broxham took part in the event, on Hosier Lane, to promote Homeless Persons' Week.

"For people to be putting in place days like today, to not only spread the message but to lend a hand, I think is very important," Milligan said.

Having succumbed to a strained hamstring at the World Cup in Brazil, he said the laneway match provided some stiff competition.

"Absolutely, I think any competition at the moment will be tough for me," he said.

"There's some very handy players down here today."

View VIDEO: Street football unites soccer stars and homeless (7pm TV News VIC)

Homeless outreach charity Youth Projects holds sporting events for its clients each week to promote exercise and social skills.

The not-for-profit's chair, Melanie Raymond, said it was an important part of the organisation's work.

"Sport speaks a language where people are familiar. It's a common, unifying theme," she said.

"For a group who are feeling vulnerable and excluded, it's something they can relate to."

The game comes after Melbourne City Council revealed homelessness in the city had increased 40 per cent in the past year, with 142 people homeless.

Presentations at Youth Projects' centre in the CBD have more than doubled over the same period.

"It's a crisis in plain sight, and the figures released recently finally let people see that," Ms Raymond said.

"You only need to come into the city to see that it's a dramatic rise."

By James Fettes  

Projects Press June/July 2014

We’re working at ground zero on many of the nation’s toughest problems. In the north of Melbourne, Coolaroo and Craigieburn top the nation in youth unemployment at 33 per cent. Inner Melbourne has seen a 40% rise in people sleeping rough. The community is also facing increased mental health problems and drug use. - it's all in this edition of Project Press. 


Youth Projects says young people in the Broadmeadows region will suffer under harsh changes to welfare payments under the federal budget.

The organisation says the region with the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country has received no help, only pain, in this budget.

Youth Projects estimates 60% of its total caseload, over 550 young people,  will be left without support using the rules announced in the budget.

The organisation's CEO, Melanie Raymond, says the new six month delay in eligibility for Newstart allowance for the newly unemployed could tip more young people into homelessness and will certainly make job search even harder.

 From 1 January  the age of eligibility for Newstart Allowance and Sickness Allowance will increase from 22 to 24 years of age. And those under 30 will have to wait six months without support before they can receive assistance.

"The government has no answer as to how young people leaving school who cannot find work will survive in this period".

"This is the worst start in life, pushing more young people in this area into poverty".

The realities at present are that in the Calder region young people leave school earlier, have fewer qualifications and enter a stagnant job market where there are many more job seekers than job vacancies.

Coolaroo and Craigieburn have the highest rates of youth unemployment in Victoria at over 30%.

56% of our young clients have Year 10 and

12 % have only primary school  or below Year 10 schooling

at least 1/4 of clients are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

(The 2006 census recorded 560 homeless persons in Hume; by 2011, there had been a 55% increase to 867)

there is a close link between family violence and unemployment in this area: Hume had the third-highest rate of family violence reports in Victoria. In 2011-12, it had the highest number of reported incidents in the northern metropolitan region, with 20 per cent of female victims aged 18-24)

"Our clients already face strictly monitored job search requirements,  but this has not and will not create jobs out of nowhere.

Young people continue to be last on and first off, and will continue to bear a much higher burden of economic recession than other groups in this community."

Ms Raymond says Youth Projects has been working with local employers to demonstrate the benefits of employing local young people who are job ready with great success. Closer relationships with business is our best strategy where we can prepare job seekers with the skills in demand. 

"Otherwise many young people are facing a bleak future and this community will need to rally around to create something better than the government has offered us"


Melanie Raymond 

CEO, Youth Projects.


Women are joining together to help homeless women this Mother's Day with a fundraiser to support a new program being piloted by Youth Projects.

The Mother's Day High Tea at the Melbourne Town Hall this Mother's Day, Sunday 11 May, offers a meaningful way to join with or remember our mothers with a bit of pampering thrown in, while also helping other women.

Women are becoming the new face of homelessness in Australia. .

This rise in the number of homeless women is significant, and the drivers of homelessness paint a tragic and damning tale of systemic discrimination and disadvantage. 

Yet traditionally, we tend to think of a homeless person as an older male, but the truth is that the newly homeless are more likely to be female, younger and have children. In fact, it is estimated that at least 40% of rough sleepers are women - that is around 46,000 women in Australia. Homeless women tend to stay away from places where the homeless gather, and are more determined to remain hidden through the risk to their personal safety.

Men's violence against women continues to be the number one cause of homelessness in Australia.One in every five women over 15 in Australia will experience sexual violence and one in three women over 15 will experience physical violence. The pattern of family violence also contributes to an ongoing pattern of abuse as girls who grow up in households where there is domestic violence are more likely to end up in violent relationships as adults.

But economic factors are also becoming more evident as contributors to the feminisation of homelessness. We know that women are more likely to experience a lifetime of lower employment and income levels than men. The increased cost of living and housing in Australia is now putting many women on the brink of homelessness, with few savings and little or no superannuation. The problem of inadequate superannuation will continue to grow as women  in Australia age and women's broken employment patterns, unequal pay, violence and abuse, the impact of which all comes together to form the perfect storm of female homelessness.

While rough sleeping is an example of 'primary homelessness',  women are also found in increasing numbers in other forms of homelessness

Women comprise 48% of people in insecure housing arrangements that are defined as 'secondary homelessness', such as staying with family or friends. Those arrangements are temporary and do not provide stability or security over the long term. Women are also around 28% of the 'tertiary homeless', those living in boarding houses. Far from cheap, such places are often suburban homes being used as boarding houses, are overcrowded and frequently unsafe and inappropriate for women and children.

More troubling is the impact of street homelessness for women where their vulnerability to violence can see them enter into unhealthy and abusive relationships as they seek shelter and protection from the street.

Youth Projects women's program uses a multi-disciplinary approach, creating a time and space for and by women, to seek help. Youth Projects empower women to find their feet, to build esteem and confidence and link into employment and housing options that can provide stability and help overcome a life of fear.

Youth Projects has a one-stop-shop of connected services and can provide female counsellors, doctors, nurses, employment and training staff to meet the multiple needs of women who arrive looking for help and in the first instance, the simple chance for company and inclusion.

Projects Press April/May 2014

From the work of our high performing employment team to overcoming barriers to job search,  how we work with employers and a close look at the rise in homelessness in the Melbourne CBD - it's all in this edition of Project Press.


Youth Projects is piloting  a new program for women experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. It's a joint approach bringing together expertise across all our teams including psychologists and mental health counsellors, health care, employment and training.

On Mother's Day join us for a sumptuous high tea, hear from a range of women about work that is supporting social justice and fair trade in Melbourne.

Our program rebuilds self confidence, and the skills to help women move on from the trauma of violence and homelessness. Because we are also a medical clinic we can address health needs while also delivering education, counselling and employment support.

This is a glamorous and empowering event to recognise women who are an inspirational and valued member of the Australian community. Be surrounded by outstanding personalities, such as Jennifer Evans (Winner of 2012 My Kitchen Rules), Noelene Marchwicki (Master Chef 2013), Zoe Pook (Zoe Pook Design), Kirra Fitzgerald (Psychologist, Youth Projects) and Melanie Raymond (Chair of Youth Projects). Melanie was named one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Westpac & Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards 2012.

Our program rebuilds self confidence, and skills to help women move on from the trauma of violence and homelessness. Because we are also a medical clinic we can address health needs while also delivering education, counselling and employment support."

To book click here

Youth Projects thanks our good friends at Moral Fairground for this amazing support.


Don't forget to vote for Youth Projects in the pop book world competition so we can win $1,000 worth of books and a pop up book store for clients and students in Hosier Lane - easy to do, one click job.


Youth Projects talks to Breakfasters about causes of death in homeless people


With the figures for homelessness on the increase across Victoria and the nation, Melanie Raymond argues that it is important to recognise homelessness as a cause of death so that the wider population is reminded of and understands that the homeless often don’t simply die from their leading cause of death, but that lack of basic necessities including proper shelter, nutrition and access to medical care are also a contributing factor to the untimely deaths of homeless people.


You  can listen at:


The Rally to remember Wayne (Mouse) Perry earlier this month saw city leaders pledge more support for Melbourne's homeless - we await more news.

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