Businesses support The Nest for young parents

The Nest program supports young parents like Katherine, pictured with baby Hettie. Picture: Mayola B Eestrada Photography
The Nest program supports young parents like Katherine, pictured with baby Hettie. Picture: Mayola B Eestrada Photography

A HOUSING program for young parents has received extra support through funding, a spruce-up of its homes and sleep kits.

Joondalup-based Youth Futures WA runs The Nest accommodation and support program to give young parents or expectant mothers who are homeless a safe place to live.

The organisation also teaches young people parenting, financial and life skills to help them live independently and care for their families.

It recently received a $25,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation to help young parents overcome mental health challenges and financial hardship.

“It will ensure service delivery of The Nest for another six months, which helps young parents learn the life skills needed to build a home of their own,” Coca-Cola Amatil sponsorship and special events executive Renee Tickle said.

Youth Futures business development manager Louise Bond said young, expectant parents experiencing domestic violence and/or homelessness often faced mental health challenges and financial hardships.

“Last year, the program achieved its goal for all mothers to retain custody of their children, and with this funding we are hoping to continue these results,” she said.

Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City centre manager Gemma Hannigan, Youth Futures WA homelessness services manager Melissa Porter and Lendlease volunteer Sarah Stuckey. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d495699

On September 12, about 20 Lendlease volunteers helped spruce up The Nest properties in Clarkson by painting, replacing light fittings and gardening through the company’s annual community day initiative.

Youth Futures homelessness services manager Melissa Porter said the organisation was grateful for the help to do general maintenance.

“It’s so important for our families to be accepted by the communities in which they live and having a well presented home helps with that,” she said.

“Our Nest families have already overcome so much adversity and so it’s important for their wellbeing to be able to come home to well-presented property.

“We find that they maintain the properties at a great standard because they’re so thankful to have a place to call home.”

Homewares brand Sheridan is also supporting the charity through the SleepSafe initiative, raising money for sleep kits containing a towel and sheet set that will be sent to shelters, with more than 100 kits sent to Youth Futures in the first week.

Generally, most of our community are unaware of the extent and reasons behind young people experiencing homelessness,” Ms Porter said.

“More often than not, they have been mistreated by the very people and systems who were supposed to nurture, support and protect them.

“Youth Futures support hundreds of young people each year who may be sleeping rough, often in very risky situations.

“We’re able to provide a safe place to sleep and to bathe which has an immediate impact on their physical and mental health.

“With the bonus of the sleep kits at our service, we’re now providing a safe place which is cosy and fresh, enabling them to journey forward with pride and optimism.”

Sheridan customers can donate online or at any store.

Visit youthfutureswa.com.au.

A volunteer helps spruce up one of The Nest houses. Pictures: David Baylis d495699