Brisbane Youth Service’s Emergency Relief (ER) Funding provided by the Department of Social Services (DSS) ended on 31 December 2019. As a result, BYS currently has very limited capacity to provide emergency financial assistance to young people who are in crisis. Despite BYS strongly advocating to the federal government to have this critical funding continued it has not been reinstated. As the sole youth specific provider in Brisbane, BYS is extremely concerned about the implications of the decision and the lack of funding. We will continue to advocate for the funds to be returned.
BYS’s emergency relief services help young people address immediate basic needs in times of crisis. Emergency relief can act as a safety net for young people experiencing homelessness who have limited means or resources at their disposal.
The type of assistance we offer varies depending on the particular needs of the young person, however may it may include one-off assistance such as:
- food, transport or chemist vouchers
- personal care or hygiene
- assistance with bill payment or other move in costs
The provision of emergency relief is sometimes our first point of contact for young people with complex needs. This contact can lead to an opportunity for our youth workers to work with young people to provide more intensive support such as help with finding sustainable accommodation or mental health or alcohol and other drugs support. This early intervention with a wraparound approach can lead to better outcomes and future self-sufficiency for the young person involved.