Anglicare push for crisis accommodation in Redlands for youth at-risk of becoming homeless

Case worker Gareth Rigden, Seb Kjellgard and In Sync community services manager Rees Maddren. Photo: Hannah Baker
Case worker Gareth Rigden, Seb Kjellgard and In Sync community services manager Rees Maddren. Photo: Hannah Baker

A CHRISTIAN housing group is pushing for more funding ahead of the federal election to stem the tide of youth homelessness in the Redlands.

Anglicare, which operates a three-bed transitional home at Ormiston, says a youth crisis accommodation centre was sorely needed.

In Sync community services manager Rees Maddren said he believed service providers had not been able to to keep up with the growing numbers of at-risk youth.

He said Anglicare was helping about 60 young clients in Brisbane's bayside, with a six to seven week long wait list for support services.

"With the amount of teenagers and young adults, who have experienced significant trauma in their lives, they need support and assistance to develop independence," he said.

"(The need) is growing because the population is growing and the service system has not expanded."

Mr Maddren said Anglicare was planning to move a five-unit transitional accommodation service from Greenslopes to the Redlands in June.

Crisis accommodation was needed to help young people in emergency situations, he said.

Mr Maddren said the closest crisis home, which had five beds, was at Mount Gravatt.

This meant young baysiders might be forced to live on the streets before space in transitional accommodation could be found.

He said a five-bed home in the Redlands might cost about $600,000 per year to operate, which would help 40 to 50 young people every year.

"Redlands is sorely in need of crisis accommodation, to help service the Redlands and the SMBIs," he said.

Mr Maddren said Anglicare was also lobbying for an increase to Newstart and more funding for early intervention programs for at-risk youth and teenagers.

Bowman MP Andrew Laming said he could help with Centrelink, Medicare and mental health support through Headspace and Aftercare.

However, the state government was responsible for crisis accommodation.

"The state government is welcome to approach the federal government if they have a proposal for which they seek funding," Mr Laming said.

Labor candidate Tom Baster was approached for comment but did not respond.

Wynnum man Seb Kjellgard said he was kicked out of home and forced to couch surf after leaving high school.

He said he started worrying when he ran out of people to turn to for help.

A year-long wait for housing commission accommodation had also added to his worries.

"A crisis centre is really needed as people can have tough home lives," Mr Kjellgard said.

Mr Kjellgard said he was helped by Anglicare's In Sync housing and planned to study psychology after finishing TAFE courses.