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Grant helps youth homelessness and support service to build capacity

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A South East Queensland charity that supports more than 2,000 young LGBTIQ+ people each year to overcome issues such as homelessness and a range of other life challenges will soon be able to better understand, measure and manage the impact they are making with a funding injection of $80,000.

Open Doors Youth Service (ODYS) received a capacity-building grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland earlier this year but has only recently been able to formally acknowledge the support, with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Open Doors Youth Service Chief Executive Officer Chris Pickard welcomed the grant and said it would help the organisation to take its services to the next level.

“This funding will allow us to engage a specialist to help us develop an impact measurement framework and to take advantage of future philanthropic funding opportunities,” Pickard said.

People wh

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o identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or gay are at least twice as likely as the general population to experience homelessness at least once in their lifetime, Pickard said, and are at least three times more likely to experience adverse mental health concerns, so there’s a real need for support services tailored to helping those who are most at risk.

“The new framework will allow us to evaluate and redefine our current services, build a stronger foundation for our organisation moving forward, and ultimately, help us to further enrich the lives of young LGBTIQ+ people,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Acting Chief Executive Officer Robert Qualtrough said the Freemason charity was proud to mark this partnership.

“As part of our strategic focus, Hand Heart Pocket has committed the majority of its funding to programs and initiatives that help to improve outcomes for youth at risk for at least the next couple of years,” Qualtrough said. “This hand up will catalyse the important work of ODYS, to help more vulnerable young people to build support networks and reengage with the community so that they can have hope for their futures.”

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