What it means to build a home for homeless youth

What it means to build a home for homeless youth


We’re excited about the new 18-bedroom crisis accommodation centre we’ve built for Melbourne City Mission’s (MCM) Frontyard Youth Services in the Melbourne CBD. Luke Rankin, Project Manager, Built, was the project manager for the build and we asked him five questions about the significance of the creation of the centre and what it meant for him and his team.

1. What were the challenges of the build for the MCM’s Frontyard Youth Services centre?

There are always many challenges on a refurbishment project especially with older buildings, fortunately Built has significant and extensive experience in fit out and refurbishment.  The main challenge was the change of building classification. The building was originally designed and built for commercial use, so incorporating the residential (18 bedrooms) component into the building was always going to be a big challenge, primarily due to the volume of fire rating requirements.

2. What was the best part of working on this project?

Knowing what we were building is going to make a real difference to breaking the cycle of youth homelessness. It was a very fulfilling experience for the entire team at Built.

3. What is the difference for you between working on a commercial project and working on a project for homeless youth?

Working with all stakeholders throughout this project was a very pleasant experience, as I believe the shared sense of purpose and common goals cultivated a strong team of like-minded people, all there to make a difference.

4. What signs of homelessness generally do you see around the city?

Homelessness to me never seemed to include young people. It was a real shock to understand just how young some of these kids are, and how vital a facility such as this is, further solidifying why Built is so proud to have delivered this facility for MCM.

5. How has this project changed how you think of the issue of homelessness?

I feel a lot more optimistic about the status of homelessness after seeing what can be achieved when an industry comes together to create something that can make such a positive impact on the community.

Photo: (left to right) Peter Meallin (Director, Case Meallin), Peter Inge OAM (PIF Vic Chair), Vicki Sutton (CEO MCM), Kate Mills (PIF CEO), Wayne Merritt (General Manager, Homelessness and Justice Division, MCM), Mason Henderson ( Head of Property & Procurement, MCM) and Luke Rankin (Project Manager, Built).