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Creating Homes for Homeless Youth

We are working together with a fantastic organisation to provide enriching and uplifting homes for homeless youth.

Most of us take for granted having a roof over our heads and the support of family and friends around us. Unfortunately this is not the case for around 40,000 young Australians who find themselves without a home each night. These young people need a safe place where they can call home, to heal and recover from the trauma of living rough on the streets or from fleeing a home setting in which they have been neglected and abused.  

Urban Creative has recently led a fundraising campaign that will enable the first of many of these homes to be constructed. This initiative aims to construct a number of ‘homes for homeless youth’, initially in Victoria and then hopefully in capital cities and rural centres across Australia.   Each home will be bespoke designed to house 4 youths and 2 live-in carers, together forming a family unit. The homes will be designed to provide an uplifting, light-filled, nurturing environment and will be a benchmark in sustainable design. Arranged in clusters of 4 homes distributed around a local community, further support would also be provided by a multi disciplinary team.

One of the first concept plans for the prototype house | Drawing: © Urban Creative Studio

Our clients operate a number of homes and the model of care for the young people in these homes has been proven through years of experience. The program has been highly successful, with a number of youths now leading independent lives, and often choosing to have an ongoing relationship with the program, offering support and inspiration to the next generation of youths. What they have not had yet is a bespoke design tailored to their model of care. This would enormously facilitate the success of the program and give youths entering the program the best chance and conditions to thrive.  

One of the key hurdles in this initiative is to secure financial backers to help deliver the dwellings. This is where the concept design comes in - it is a key mechanism to achieve this objective. In terms of deployment, the intention is to pilot the project with a single home first, monitor the success and lessons learned, and move on to a constructing a cluster of 4 homes in the area. Following this, the design can be rolled out across any number of locations, providing a best-practice example of sustainable, innovative design that works together with social programs to address one of the core challenges of contemporary society - the issue of youth homelessness.