Specialised crisis accommodation for young adolescents is one step closer, with Housing Minister Michael Ferguson formally announcing the development of a facility for youth aged between 12 and 15 years.
Youth, Family and Community Connections have been announced as the preferred provider for Launceston's new facility for at-risk youth that will provide crisis accommodation in a "home-like environment".
The proposed development at an undisclosed location in Launceston's CBD will provide eight beds for at-risk youth in addition to a support worker.
Mr Ferguson said the facility will fill a gap in Northern Tasmania's homelessness services by catering exclusively to young adolescents.
Currently, children facing homelessness are housed with youth up to 20 years old, Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive Tania Hunt welcomed a targeted facility for younger adolescents.
"We do know in Tasmania that young people aged 13 and above can access shelters but what we see is that those shelter environments don't provide the level of the support that young people need," Ms Hunt said.
"And there's also the issue that it may not be an appropriate environment for a young person to be in a shelter with older members of the community."
A 2020 survey by Colony 47 asked Tasmanian youth aged 15 to 24 years in their Transition to Work program about their experience with homelessness.
From the sample of 66 young people, 35 per cent had experienced being homeless with 33 per cent reported feeling at risk of homelessness.
25 per cent reported that their experience of homelessness was due to domestic violence, with 47 per cent reporting that their living conditions had a negative impact of their mental health.
YFCC chief executive Ros Atkinson said she was excited for the opportunity to develop the service in Launceston and hoped to make a difference within the community.
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"YFCC is an experienced provider, we've been providing and delivery youth accommodation services across the North West coast now for in excess of 40 years," she said
"We are looking forward to bringing that knowledge and skills to Launceston and expanding that work here."
Ms Atkinson said the new accommodation facility would be providing crisis care to Launceston's youth, with a goal of family reunification.
"Our main goal is to work with families and young people to keep those children at home if it is safe to do so," she said.
"And if that's not the case, to ensure that we are really supporting those young people to work towards their goals and their aspirations, their dreams and provide those necessary supports for them to move forward in life and have somewhere safe to life while they're doing that."
The development is due to be completed in September 2022.
A development application has been lodged with the City of Launceston Council and work will commence subject to approval.
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