When social distancing measures were announced, staff from Mission Australia’s Youth Accommodation Support Service in Western Australia were determined to weather the storm with positivity and optimism.

“From the beginning, our team powered on and were happy to be there. It was business as usual,” explains Case Manager, Kelly. “There could have been an escalation of tension between the young people but with support from the staff, there were a lot of positive responses to the information and workshops we provided.”

Kelly and the rest of the team adapted to new distancing measures at the 24/7 accommodation service that houses young Australians at risk of homelessness.

Weekly educational workshops were set up to keep the young residents informed and the staff created personalised timetables for each young adult to stay motivated during the day. Morning exercise, arts and craft activities and study time helped break up the long and endless hours at home.

Before the pandemic, Kelly’s team hosted weekly recreational activities to engage young people. With restrictions in place, trips to the beach and picnics were halted and the team had to find a creative alternative.

A creative solution presented itself when members of a local church offered to loan out its inflatable jumping castle and dueling arena for teens to enjoy for free.

“It was a chance for young people to be entertained but also get exercise,” says Scott, the Western Australia Chaplain who arranged the loan. “The kids loved it. They kept saying it was crazy fun.”

The staff purchased additional sports equipment and are looking to redevelop their backyard to include a new basketball court for the youth to stay active, happy and most importantly, safe.

How our Youth Accommodation Support Service empowers young adults:

  • Offers 24-hour care and case management
  • Provides crisis accommodation for 15-18 year olds
  • Offers transitional accommodation for 16-25 year olds
  • Equips young adults with independent living skills
  • Supports education and employment goals
  • Provides mental health care and advice.

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Purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'