Liana looks for a pathway off the streets
November 2016 NSW
Liana was placed in foster care when she was very young and went to live with a caring family. She became so much a part of the family that they changed her surname to theirs to make her feel more connected.
Unfortunately that secure world unravelled when Liana’s foster parents separated. While Liana initially lived with her foster father their relationship became very strained when he found a new partner. Liana’s foster father eventually asked her to leave. Just a teenager, she had nowhere to live.
Liana now couch surfs with friends. In the right environment and with the right supports she could achieve independence - but at this point in time, she is just trying to find a place to sleep and someone to support her.
Liana’s situation is not uncommon. Twenty-two per cent of young people leaving foster care are likely to be in temporary housing such as caravans and refuges compared to 0.6 per cent of their peers.
Research also shows that young people moving from foster care into independent living have some of the poorest life outcomes of any group in the community, with one third of care leavers being unemployed. Of these, half are in the juvenile justice system and nearly one third face teenage pregnancy.
The Property Industry Foundation’s PIF House program is designed to help homeless people just like Liana, as well as young people at risk of homelessness. The PIF House program, through the generous support of our Corporate Donors, is about building homes in Queensland, NSW and Victoria for young people in need of support.
PIF Houses create a family environment to encourage residents to be independent – and interact with other residents. Trained mentors teach lifestyle skills such as cooking, budgeting, home-care and cleanliness.
These houses will eventually accommodate up to 10 young people, as well as live-in houseparents/counsellors.