Crisis accommodation ‘drowning’ in requests

VPYA manager Marilyn Crispin consults with a client looking for temporary crisis housing.
VPYA manager Marilyn Crispin consults with a client looking for temporary crisis housing.

After registering for public housing but learning there was a nine-year waiting list in the Kwinana area, together they made the trek from Rockingham to Victoria Park this month in the hope of finding temporary crisis accommodation.

The 19-year-old mother is one of many who line up for a chance of temporary housing at Victoria Park Youth Accommodation (VPYA) every month and she is luckier than most, with a supportive family, her Year 12 graduation and state soccer selection behind her.

‘I just want to bring up my daughter and give her a stable life,’ the young mum said.

And this is music to the ears of VPYA manager Marilyn Crispin, who says the majority of families who come to her team for help do not have the basic skills for raising happy, healthy children.

‘Many of our young parents have missed out on the basics themselves, like how to play with their children, how to feed them, make sure they have clean clothes and the importance of going to school,’ Mrs Crispin said.

But VPYA can’t guarantee this young mum accommodation, with demand so high the waiting list for its 17 crisis accommodation houses in Victoria Park, Belmont and Canning is months long.

‘The demand is such that we are drowning in requests, we can’t cope.’

Mrs Crispin is appealing for local families to donate unwanted picture and storybooks to VPYA so she can place them in the group’s crisis accommodation for junior residents.