Brisbane Youth Service runs a weekly Street Outreach program, focused on engaging with homeless and at risk young people in the Brisbane CBD, particularly those who are at risk of problematic alcohol or other drug use.
The program was expanded in 17/18 through a partnership with the Queensland Police Service and received additional funding as part of the Queensland Police Service Communities Against Substance Misuse (CASM) program. In 17/18 BYS provided 770 occasions of outreach support to at-risk young people. The Queensland Police Service funded outreach from March to June 2018 recorded 12 shifts across 22 targeted locations.
BYS workers may be the first contact young people who are sleeping rough have with support services. Workers seek to build trusting relationships and offer some assistance with basic needs such as food, water, transport assistance and provide access to specialist support at BYS or elsewhere. Outreach workers also facilitate entry, or return, to safe accommodation.
Through the program there has been an increase in positive engagement, reaching the point where some young people are now waiting for the outreach team and engaging positively and pro-actively.
The Outreach Team provides support at:
- State Library on Mondays 1:00 – 3:00pm
- CBD fortnightly on Thursdays 6:00 – 10:00pm
- CBD Friday morning 6:00 – 9:00am
On Friday we managed to connect with and support 10 young people; between the ages of 13 – 25 years old. Seeing 10 young people is unfortunately considered to be a quiet day on outreach. We were able to support young people with food, water and travel assistance as well as safety information/ referral to BYS in order to receive further support. Although it is disheartening to see that there are so many young people sleeping rough this winter, the positives are that young people are responding well to the outreach team and are willing to engage. BYS Outreach Team Member
You won’t miss the BYS outreach workers out and about in the city in their new t-shirts!