The not-for-profit organisation was praised for its efforts in reducing harm among vulnerable young people through its unique Youth Beat program, winning the award in the Young People category.
Youth Beat program manager Ciara Crotty said she was extremely happy with the recognition and stressed the impor- tance of outreach programs in Australian cities.
‘We’re hoping to build on our reputation in coming years and offer as many opportunities as we can to young people, to keep them engaged and build relationships with them and hopefully it will lead to good outcomes for them and their future,’ Ms Crotty said.
Ms Crotty said she had observed a rise in numbers of youth on the streets, with Youth Beat workers engaging close to 3000 young people, 10 per cent of them sleeping rough.
‘In the last six months for example, the outreach team engaged with 2700 young people on the streets. They would either be handing out hot food, swags, blankets, giving them bottles of water, hot drinks,’ she said.
‘Our ultimate goal is to keep young people safe in the city and surrounding suburbs.
‘Ultimately we’d like to see a reduction in the number of homeless young people.’
Mission Australia State director Melissa Perry said the success at the awards highlighted the excellent services delivered by the exceptional and skilled staff to some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in our community.
Mission Australia’s Youth Beat program provides support to vulnerable young people who are on Perth’s streets after dark, reconnecting them with a parent or guardian.