Youth CONNECT Social Benefit Bond
|Primary impact area||Impact area||Geographic location of impact||Investment commencement||SDG alignment|
|Social||Housing & Social Real Estate||Queensland, Australia||2017||
An estimated half a million Queenslanders have experienced homelessness in their lifetime, with many of these aged under 25 years. Youth CONNECT Social Benefit Bond addresses homelessness for young people leaving out-of-home care or juvenile detention and will help more than 300 people over six years in three locations in Queensland.
The Youth CONNECT SBB provides a ‘housing-first’ program for young people aged 15-25 who are leaving statutory care and at risk of homelessness. The objective is to develop the resilience of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Youth CONNECT is delivered by Churches of Christ in Queensland, in partnership with the Queensland Government. The ‘housing-first’ approach supports young people find homefulness—a stable home environment where they can feel at home, have agency and experience independence—so that they can then focus on employment, education, work-readiness and personal development.
The Youth CONNECT Program provides early intervention and support for individual participants, and involves the finding of appropriate, stable and supported housing options and followed by assistance with finding employment, education, personal development and life skills. Youth at risk of falling into homelessness with few supports are supported into an independent, connected future.
By building resilience and independent living skills for young people, the program aims to:
- Reduce incidence of homelessness or reliance upon specialist homelessness services
- Reduce interactions with the justice system
- Improve mental and physical health
- Support social and cultural connectedness
- Improve education and employment opportunities.
The program launched in 2018 and by the end of Year 2, 121 young people have engaged with the program at various stages of their journey to independence and successful adulthood.
Youth CONNECT participants include a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, reflecting the ongoing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who are in, or who have been in, statutory care. Youth CONNECT programming for these young people aims to embed an understanding of the strength of culture for indigenous young people.