Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

St Luke's board members needed

St Luke’s Anglicare is looking for people to become involved in their Youth Board Program.

REBECCA KERR August 5, 2014 3:12am

St Luke’s Anglicare is desperately seeking people to become involved in their Youth Board Program and hopes National Homeless Persons week will raise awareness and encourage people to do something about it.

Youth services worker Sheridan Clark said the program aimed to match young people up with compatible board providers.

She said St Luke’s were seeking more board providers to have a wider variety of people to match up appropriately with homeless youth.

Board providers were not just family units, they could be single.

‘‘To have that variety of different people as board providers means we can match up the right people with the young person would be great,’’ she said.

Ms Clark said St Luke’s was hoping to have more single men sign up to the program as there was a high number of young men at risk of homelessness.

She said a lot of youth learnt valuable life skills during the program as they tried to match them up with responsible board providers with similar interests.

‘‘We try to match them with the right people,’’ Ms Clark said.

‘‘It’s more like a mentor type situation, not like a carer.’’

She hoped people would become board providers now there was insurance, better remuneration and the ongoing support from youth service workers.

St Luke’s client services manager Francis Lias said board providers and youth applying for the program were assessed and all other avenues explored before placing a young person in a different home.

‘‘We do try to be very selective about who we match up,’’ he said.

‘‘First and foremost we look at peoples natural resources; friends, relatives, people that keep them connected to their social and family environments and we encourage that.

‘‘Then if they are unable to stay in the family home or alike, we would look at other options.’’

Ms Clark supported 22 young people and said out of that, 10 were couch surfing and three were desperately in need of a place.

‘‘Some I see all the time and some only come in when they’re really desperate and that’s when the pressure is on,’’ she said.

‘‘To that day quickly find them a place.

‘‘We do get that one person who will come in and they’re in crisis and we have nowhere to put them.’’

For information, contact Ms Clark at St Luke’s on 54820900.

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