TACKLING YOUTH HOMELESSNESS

18 May 2016

THE NUMBER of crisis care beds on the Gold Coast for homeless young people is about to double, as construction of the Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth’s Bill Hoyer House nears completion.

Former YP Gold Coast committee member Andrew Antonopoulos is President of the Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth (GCPHY), a facility which will provide care for up to 1000 homeless young people over the next decade.

Bill Hoyer House is located at 31 Olsen Avenue, Labrador on City of Gold Coast land, leased to the GCPHY.

Mayor Tom Tate toured the facility this week which is under construction by local developer Villa World and includes seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, large living spaces, an outdoor entertaining area and a separate youth workers’ quarters and office.

The facility will provide care and rehabilitation for homeless young people requiring immediate care, assisting with their development and life skills.

“Seeing this project take shape and the support it has received from local businesses underscores the amazing community spirit we have here in our city,” says Mayor Tom Tate.

“As Mayor, I never want to see anyone left behind so I applaud the commitment to see this project through as it will assist the youth who need our support.’’

Villa World General Manager of Communities and Business Growth, Carl Bruhn, says the swift construction progress was a result of generous and hard-working local subcontractors and suppliers.

“Many of these are small business owners and their staff have donated their time, skills and materials for free or at cost price,” says Bruhn.

“The cost of building this facility sits at about $550,000 and through various streams of funding that will be reduced significantly.

“But we still need donations to complete the build, carry out fit-out of the facility and of course finance its ongoing operation.”

GCPHY President Andrew Antonopoulos says the organisation’s ultimate goal was to break the cycle of youth homelessness on the Gold Coast.

“Ideally, we want to introduce life skills and encourage each person who comes through the door to become active members of the community,” says Antonopoulos.

“With hundreds of young people experiencing homelessness in this city each night, the opening of Bill Hoyer House will help some of them off the streets and into good care.

“With the support of the local community, Government and Villa World, Bill Hoyer House will have a serious impact in breaking the cycle of homelessness.”

Partially funded by the Queensland Government, GCPHY has partnered with Villa World for a second time to make this project financially feasible, having previously completed Jessica Dunne Lodge.

The GCPHY has been established for more than 30 years and is the Gold Coast’s leading service for youth homelessness.  The organisation also operates Lawson House, another crisis care facility on the Gold Coast.