Cockburn: Assisting Your Life to Achieve launches WA’s first LGBTQI crisis accommodation

ALYA founders David (left) and Scott Johnson (centre) and Bron Elliot (right) at ALYA’s op shop and low cost food centre in Cockburn. Picture: Matt Jelonek d475416
ALYA founders David (left) and Scott Johnson (centre) and Bron Elliot (right) at ALYA’s op shop and low cost food centre in Cockburn. Picture: Matt Jelonek d475416

A COCKBURN not-for-profit organisation needs community support to roll out WA’s first LGBTQI crisis accommodation.

Assisting Your Life to Achieve Inc. (AYLA) has secured a five year lease for a 2ha property, that it hopes can provide at risk youth, aged between 15 and 24, a secured place to grow and work through the barriers and traumas in their lives.

The centre would accommodate up to six residents, both LGBTQI couples and singles, for three months at a time with 24/7 security and support.

The hostel would also have access to other ALYA services including therapy and counselling, medical support, food bank, training cafe, hairdresser and op shop.

AYLA has created a GoFundMe to raise the funds needed to cover the renovations at the site and assist in the establishment of the centre.

The organisation aims to raise $100,000 for the project but has unfortunately only received $10 since creating the project on October 10.

AYLA founders Scott and David Johnson said the idea for the project came about after coming back to Australia from Europe, where they got married, and being baffled by the fact that there simply weren’t as many resources or support services for the LGBTQI community as elsewhere.

“There is not a crisis centre for LGBTQI in WA,” they said.

“All of the services that are currently out there at the moment cater to other groups, obviously if you fall just under youth then there is help, if you fall under the aboriginal category there is help.

“Everything is already boxed and funded for these particular things and unfortunately, especially with the LGBTQI group it is difficult for them to find that they fit anywhere anyway.

“If they are going through hardship and finding that their home life may not be the best and they may not be getting the correct support, to have a space where they can grow, become their own person and not have any extra pressures would be a wonderful thing.”

The pair wants to have the crisis centre fully operational by end of January.

“We do not want to make this about the equality vote, which has nothing to do with what we are trying to achieve,” Scott said.

“What we want, whether you believe in equality or not, is to help reduce the number of suicides and crisis cases in WA.”

To support AYLA’s project, go to www.gofundme.com/lgbti-crisis-accommodation.

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