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St John of God Waipuna Expands Programme Supporting Homeless

For Immediate Release

31 January 2013

St John of God Waipuna Expands Programme Supporting Homeless Youth in Canterbury

A national not-for-profit organisation that specialises in working with young parents is expanding the ‘Better Housing, Better Health’ programme to support more homeless youth in Canterbury with funding from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand

Youth agency St John of God Waipuna has received funding from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand to expand its innovative ‘Better Housing Better Health’ programme. This programme has, over 24-months, supported over 100 young people and young single-parent families with desperate housing needs, through a mix of providing housing information and advocacy. With this new funding, the service will be adding a youth housing worker in the coming months with the aim of supporting 120 young people per annum. The programme is also in discussions with other philanthropic organisations to explore the possibility of managing several properties itself to house youth in desperate need.

In response to an article in The Press on 29 January 2013 highlighting the plight of young mother Amber Breiter, programme manager Paul McMahon says "Situations such as this strongly suggest that there are simply not enough houses for everyone in Christchurch and in particular for vulnerable people groups. Through expanding the Better Housing Better Health Programme, we will not only be able to support a greater number of youth in need but also inspire and contribute more actively to civic discourse on a sustainable long-term solution for the youth in our city.”

A 2008 study estimated that at any time there was likely to be 1,444 vulnerable and at risk young people aged 15-24 in Christchurch living in inappropriate and insecure housing, and that was before the earthquakes. Since the February 22, 2011 earthquake, there has been a noticeable increase in young people and, in particular, young solo mothers in housing need.

The ‘Better Housing Better Health’ programme was established to help address this need. An independent evaluation report has been completed and can be downloaded here or by emailing: kathy.ousey@sjog.org.nz


Further information can be found on the Trust’s website http://www.sjog.org.nz

St John of God Hauora Trust

W www.sjog.org.nz


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