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Giving youths independence

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Anglicare SQ's In-SYNC case workers are giving young people who are homeless or at risk
of homelessness the support and skills to live independently.

IMG 7805In-SYNC Cleveland manager Karen O'Donohue said her team of four case workers
provided their clients with safe and affordable homes, helped them develop
living skills such as cooking, cleaning and home budgeting and assisted
them in accessing other services including education, employment and specialised
counselling.

Youths aged 16 to 25 are referred to the service from various avenues including
schools, families and doctors while some arrive on their own in need of help.

In many cases changed family situations have led to youths finding themselves in
situations where it is no longer possible for them to live at home.

"If that home has been a place of physical or sexual abuse, neglect or exposure
to other damaging risks such as mental health, family breakdowns and issues
with drugs and alcohol, a young person may decide to or be told to leave -
without a safe place to go to," Karen said.

Josh (not his real name) was 17 and still at high school when he found In-SYNC
Cleveland. He had been couch-surfing with friends and family before relatives
contacted In-SYNC to seek assistance for him.

"In-SYNC helped me get through my schooling during a very chaotic time in my
life," he said.

"This would have been impossible while dealing with homelessness. Now I'm going
on to higher education."

"When you see young people moving on and doing well, that's really good,"
Karen said.

"Most have moved to private rental. That says a lot about what they've achieved
that they're able to pay private rental. A lot of kids are studying and want to
continue with their studies. They are very resilient and keep their eye on
where they want to go."

In-SYNC will join other youth services in the Redlands area to organise free
activities during National Youth Week from April 10-19.