Charity to build 125 bedrooms for homeless youths by end of 2021
Aiming to increase the availability of accommodation for youth homelessness, Property Industry Foundation (PIF), a not-for-profit for youth homelessness has built 85 bedrooms for homeless youths that have sheltered 314 young people, some for one night, and others for one year depending on their age, ability and need. By 2021, the charity aims to build 125 bedrooms.
This, despite the many difficulties that the not-for-profit sector and the rest of Australia faced as a whole in 2020, which involved bushfires affecting millions, COVID-19 cancelling key events, and many donors and sponsors unable to provide support during uncertain financial times.
Last year, frontline providers of youth homelessness services also reported a huge increase in calls from young people requesting help. This is because the various lockdowns and restrictions had increased the pressure on stressed families which in turn increased the level of domestic violence and conflict.
PIF CEO Kate Mills remarked that despite many challenges, 2020 presented a great opportunity to work on the foundation.
“As a charity that depends on donations and events to fund its house-building programs, we were very concerned at the start of the year – like any business. It very quickly became clear that COVID was going to have a great effect on at-risk or homeless Australians,” Mills said.
“Despite the challenges, we were still able to complete two six-bedroom houses in Sydney, and we’re excited to hit the ground running in 2021 with a calendar of fundraising events to support our other projects. The first sod will be turned at our PIF House Brisbane site early this year, which is extremely exciting,” she said.
To remedy this, PIF made a quick transition into online fundraising, with their first virtual campaign raising over $300,000 for the PIF House program and significantly surpassing the original $50,000 goal. This development is a huge step towards the foundation’s goals of building more bedrooms for homeless youths.
Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Linda Hurley, who announced their patronage to the homelessness charity in 2020, remarked on the growing need for support.
“Youth homelessness is a significant issue in our community. The challenges of 2020 have only exacerbated the issue and increased the imperative for innovative solutions and committed efforts,” Governor-General Hurley said.
“Linda and I are delighted to serve as Patrons of the Property Industry Foundation. Their work, and the dedication and passion of their team and supporters is making a huge difference to the lives of many young Australians. We both look forward to supporting the Property Industry Foundation’s efforts to create stepping- stones for our young people to realise brighter futures,” he said.