Youth homelessness project is more than halfway to $100k goal

AC Care plans to build four units in Murray Bridge for young people at risk of sleeping rough.

A fundraiser aimed at reducing youth homelessness in Murray Bridge is more than halfway towards its $100,000 goal.

Three months after launching, community service provider AC Care has already secured $60,000 for the Studio Purpose project.

The project will turn a disused community housing property into four units for lease by people aged 15 to 21 with nowhere else to go.

It will also offer broader-reaching support to those tenants with the aim of helping them rebuild their lives.

The goal will be to support young people as they either begin independent lives in their own housing or reunite with their families.

While AC Care is leading the project, Habitat for Humanity is ovserseeing construction, Anglicare SA will manage the units when they are finished and the South Australian Housing Authority, Headspace and the Murray Bridge council are all involved, too.

The manager of AC Care’s homelessness services in the Murraylands, Thanuja Hiripitiyage, said some young people who lacked an alternative were being forced to sleep rough.

But she said Studio Purpose was about more than just meeting a local need for accommodation.

“The project ... is about much more than a warm bed and a welcoming space,” she said.

“(It will have) a focus on health and wellbeing, education, development, connection and engagement.

“We want to ... provide holistic support to youth who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.”

Video, photo of Wayne Thorley, Steve Brown, Bob Martin, Ben Sarre, Garry Spurling, Trish Spark, Kerrie McCann, Thanuja Hiripitiyage, Scott Wells and Shane Maddocks: AC Care.