The Inner City Youth at Risk (ICYAR) Project is a partnership project which draws together 21 government and non-government organisations (NGOs) to target and respond to young people who are experiencing homelessness and/or at risk of homelessness in Kings Cross and surrounding areas. Partners include mainstream health services, other government agencies, local government, and a range of youth and homelessness support agencies and Non Government Organisations. This report describes the activities and achievements of the project and the costs of providing services, based on the ICYAR database between 1st July 2010 and the 30th June 2012.
Key findings are:
- Over the data collection period, 1145 instances of brokerage were provided to 487 clients, including 190 food vouchers, 157 housing set-up costs, 142 instances of emergency accommodation and 116 contributions towards education and vocation.
- A quarter of all clients identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. The average age at which clients first had contact with ICYAR was 22, and young men and women were equally represented.
- The project is reaching its target client group of highly disadvantaged young people. The majority of clients experienced unstable accommodation (82.9 per cent). Around a third had mental health issues, and almost a third of clients had alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues. The majority of clients had multiple presenting issues.
- Access to brokerage is a highly valued component of the ICYAR service model, but average expenditure is quite low. Supported housing applications had the highest overall mean amount ($1242 per application) which reflects high costs such as payments for staff time. Case managed brokerage had an average of $437 and emergency brokerage an average of $93 per application.
- Ten properties were made available to ICYAR for clients with complex needs, and an additional 3 properties have been sourced through partnerships with housing providers. The majority of clients that are assisted to enter housing in this program successfully maintained their tenancy. The overall retention rate for supported housing clients is 80 per cent.The service model is regarded by partner agencies as effective and efficient, and their sustained participation over the life of the project reflects this.
Prepared for South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney.