Queensland’s third Social Benefit Bond (SBB) – the Youth CONNECT SBB will tackle youth homelessness, announced Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt today.
“The Youth CONNECT SBB represents a key milestone for the Palaszczuk Government and our innovative policy response to complex social issues, in particular the Youth CONNECT SBB will provide new hope for some of our most vulnerable Queenslanders.”
“We know from the 2011 ABS Census data that 60 per cent of homeless people in Australia are aged under 35 years.
“Clearly young Australians are over-represented compared to their proportion of the total population, and it is important that the Queensland Government supports the Churches of Christ in Queensland who will deliver the Youth CONNECT program to support young people 15 to 25 years old who are exiting or have exited statutory care and are homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
“The new service has been made possible through Impact Investment and does not replace valuable services already being provided by the Palaszczuk Government and the social services sector.
“Churches of Christ in Queensland will have two services up and operating by the end of this year, one in South East Queensland and the other in Townsville.”
Acting CEO of Churches of Christ in Queensland David Swain said in 2015–16 over 43,000 young people were alone and in housing crisis when they approached a specialist homelessness agency; over half of these were already homeless (AIHW).
“The Youth CONNECT SBB will offer wrap around services aiming to build young people’s resilience factors of education, employment and community connection and to influence the individual’s future trajectory towards achieving sustained housing,” Mr Swain said.
“This approach supports the development of better coping skills to improve life outcomes and sustain long-term health and wellbeing into adulthood, ultimately reducing the risk of future homelessness.”
Mr Pitt said the Youth CONNECT SBB is also the third SBB pilot and means the Queensland Government will have three different SBBs successfully operating in Queensland to address three very challenging social issues:
• the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Islander children in the child protection system
• reducing youth reoffending rates and
• reducing the risk of homelessness for young people.
Churches of Christ in Queensland will be issuing the Youth CONNECT SBB to investors, with the support of Social Outcomes, and in conjunction with Westpac as financial intermediary, to investors in coming weeks.
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