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Foyer offers innovative approach to youth

The Foyer

  • New transitional housing for 98 young people in need of special assistance and support
  • Offers access to a range of support services, education, training and employment
  • Purpose-built Foyer an Australian first

Premier Colin Barnett today opened an innovative housing project designed to transform the lives of young West Australians experiencing homelessness and other disadvantage.

Foyer Oxford in Leederville - built on the site of the Central Institute of Technology - will provide transitional accommodation for homeless young people between 16 and 25 in need of specialist assistance and support. Mr Barnett attended the launch along with Child Protection Minister Helen Morton.

Mr Barnett said the project, built with both State and Commonwealth funding, would house up to 98 young men and women and provide them with life skills, training and educational opportunities.

“I am pleased that the country’s first purpose-built Foyer is a Western Australian initiative,” the Premier said.

Mr Barnett commended the partners and supporters of the project for their commitment to the development, including Foundation Housing, Anglicare, BHP Billiton, the Central Institute of Technology, Lotterywest and the departments of Housing and Child Protection and Family Support.

“This is a great example of a productive partnership between corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations to fund, build and operate a truly innovative project,” he said.

“Not only will it assist with homelessness, it will help transform the lives of young people who have faced difficult circumstances and obstacles in their lives.”

The building was completed in late January and 23 residents have already moved in.

The Commonwealth contributed $10.7million towards the building, the State Government contributed $9.1million through the Department of Housing. Lotterywest also contributed $3.2million to the project for the building fit-out.

The Department for Child Protection and Family Support will also contribute $5million over five years towards operational costs with BHP Billiton matching this funding over the same period. 

“This takes the State Government contribution to this project to more than $17million,” Mr Barnett said.

“I also particularly want to thank BHP Billiton for their extremely generous contribution to this project.”  

Foyers, which were first introduced in France in the 1950s, are integrated learning and accommodation centres providing safe and secure housing, support and training for young people. They aim to help young people find a permanent home and a job as quickly as possible. 

The Foyer Oxford will be managed by Foundation Housing, which has a 50-year lease over the building from the Department of Housing, with support services provided. Anglicare, and the Central Institute of Technology will deliver training and education. 

Housing Minister Bill Marmion said Foyer Oxford was part of the A Place to Call Home joint initiative by the Australian and State and Territory governments to build 600 new homes for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
 
“Initiatives like Foyer Oxford, with a strong focus on education, are an important component of our endeavours to reduce homelessness,” Mr Marmion said.

Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said she was pleased to support this innovative approach to supporting young people and families.
 
“We are proud to play a key role in supporting new approaches to providing young people with the support and resources they need to lead healthy and productive lives,” Mrs Morton said.

The Foyer building will be fully occupied over the next few months. Young people selected for the Foyer will not be ‘straight off the streets’. Residents are selected by a panel of experienced youth care professionals and they will be people who have started to turn their life around. Those who demonstrate an ability to succeed in independent housing and make a positive contribution to the facility will become residents.

A Foyer Oxford resident receives case management supports through a single allocated worker; residential youth work support overnight and on weekends, activity provision, connection to existing community activity and parenting support for young parents.

Fact File

  • In 2010 a Lotterywest grant of $303,124 to Anglicare WA supported a pilot interim Foyer in Mt Lawley. The results from the interim Foyer project were positive and led to this more permanent project
  • Transitional accommodation is a key component of the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020: Opening Doors to Affordable Housing (Opening Doors), which is on track to deliver more 20,000 new affordable housing options across the State by 2020
  • The youth transitional accommodation comprises of four storeys with 98 apartments (77 x one-bedroom and 21 x two-bedroom)
  • The 21 two-bedroom apartments are specifically designed for young single parents with a child under three years of age
  • The building also includes office space, retail space, training areas, meeting rooms, a cafe, courtyard, reception area and undercroft parking

Premier’s office - 6552 5000
Child Protection Minister’s office - 6552 6900
Housing Minister’s office - 6552 6800

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