Employing an at-risk or homeless young person
Our industry has empowered over 30 young people, introduced through the Foundation, giving them opportunities and a chance to become independent.
Through the dedicated efforts of some of our Corporate Donors, young people have worked and gained valuable experience and confidence, with some pursuing worthwhile careers.
Without jobs and appropriate accommodation, rehabilitated young people continue to be at-risk of becoming homeless again.
Young people involved in the Foundation's employment program are:
- males and females aged 17 - 24 who are now relatively stable in their accommodation, legal matters, and drug and alcohol issues.
Typical life histories will include;
- Parental breakups and abuse,
- Leaving home as young teenagers,
- Large periods of missing school - particularly years 10 onwards.
- Moving from relatives, to couch surfing, to sleeping rough.
- Drugs, crime, physical and/or sexual abuse.
Their lives may have been one of constant rejection. Most importantly participants have decided to take charge of their lives, which includes finding a meaningful job so our industry is here to help rebuild broken lives of youth in Australia.
For a successful outcome for both the Host Company and the young person, pre-employment preparation is crucial; the selected young people will have successfully completed ‘work readiness’ training by our program Charity Partners.
It is important for the Host Company and the management of the workplace where the candidate will be employed, to ensure that an appropriate mentor/supervisor is involved from the very beginning. This person needs to understand and embrace the broader objectives of the Rebuild-a-Young-Live program, and their role within the program, the needs of their particular young person. This mentor/supervisor relationship allows issues to be addressed as they occur within the workplace.
Experience has shown that the better starting roles have the following common features:
- Modest goals, workload and content for the first month, to which more can be added each month until the "full job" is being performed.
- Participants need to be challenged and the role needs to be meaningful.
- Good interaction with several other staff to develop social and customer service skills.
The impact of taking on a placement via the Rebuild-a-Young-Life-Program is substantial and far reaching:
- Provides a young person with the opportunity and direction to develop a future life pathway.
- Provides sources of immense satisfaction for both the young person and the employer.
- Delivers a worthwhile challenge for CEOs and senior staff.
- Broadens the role of the company in the community and in the eyes of it's employees
Oasis Youth Support Network (OYSN) located in the inner city of Sydney is The Salvation Army's response to youth homelessness, focusing on helping disadvantaged and disconnected young people turn their lives around.
My Story. When I was 10 years old, my Father and Mother separated. Shortly after that my Mum got into a relationship with a man who was an alcoholic and very violent. He use to beat me and my brother constantly. This was very traumatic for me and my brother and I didn’t cope very well. We were left for considerable amounts of time alone with no support or food. Nobody seemed to care.
My life soon started to spiral out of control with the use of drugs and alcohol. I got into a lot of fights and trouble with the police.I was very angry and hurt, I just needed some direction and someone to care for me.
The journey I went on, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. School was a problem. The people I had around me couldn’t help and I seemed to go to a place where there was just no hope. It was a long time until I received the help I needed, but it did come.
My life started looking up when I met a girl who really was there for me; she is now the Mother of my son and has been a constant support and encouragement.
My case worker at the time directed me to The Salvation Army in Surry Hills – "The Oasis".I met a man who helped me with everything I needed and it seemed for the first time that I was starting to get something done about addressing the issues in my life that were plaguing and holding me back. We worked together on a work ready program for many months which got me a job.
The nice charity people was not just interested in getting me a job, but during this time was able to help me personally with life coaching and support, which helped bring direction in my life.
The Salvation Army Oasis Centre and the people that work there, is the reason that I am better placed to take advantage of the opportunities they have worked hard to get for young people like me.
This chance has given me a sense of worth and has brought a light to my life when all there seemed to be was darkness.
I now work at one of the companies who support the Property Industry Foundation; they are helping me get ahead professionally and I now feel that my life is heading in the right direction – and there is now hope for a proper life.
This young man was awarded with a Greg Paramor Scholarship through the Foundation’s Rebuild-a-Young-Life Program, for making positive change to his life, as well as staying in his job for 12 months. He has now been working at the same company for 7 years.