Kids’ home alone

MINISTER ADMITS government can’t fund Wangaratta program on youth homelessness because it’s about prevention, not cure
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME: David Ryan, Joanne Ryan, Tim McCurdy (MLA, Murray Valley)and Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge toured NESAY’s temporary accommodation rooms last week. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

AN innovative program to help stop youth homelessness in Wangaratta will have to be set up without government funding because it deals with prevention instead of a cure.

Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge, confirmed the funding limitations last week when she visited North East Support and Action for Youth (NESAY) to view work being done to create temporary accommodation at the Rowan Street building in the city.

She said that while she was impressed, the State Government could not contribute to the project right now because strict government funding models can only support programs dealing with youths who are already homeless.

“Historically, innovative funding has tended to come from philanthropy,” Ms Wooldridge told the Wangaratta Chronicle.

But she said the State Government is in the “early stages” of transforming its funding models and while she could not set a timeframe, she said NESAY’s Linx2Home was the type of family-focused project she would want to fund in the future.

“This is a perfect example of where we’re trying to drive to,” she said.

“We want to be able to move to models of funding that says innovate, do what you can, use some creativity to achieve the outcome.”

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