Specialist Youth Homelessness Service / Emergency Accommodation

What are Specialist Youth Homelessness Services?

Specialist Youth Homelessness Services provide transitional supported accommodation to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Specialist Youth Homelessness Services also provides other services including case management to help people to resolve crisis in their life, mediate with family, and assist people to be independent.

» Find an specialist youth homeless/emergency service near you (PDF)

What do Specialist Youth Homelessness services offer?

Types of Specialist Youth Homelessness Services services include: crisis accommodation, medium term or long term supported accommodation, externally supported accommodation or centre based/open access services.

Consumer Principles for Access to SYHS

A number of  SYHS have signed to having Consumer Principles for Access - these principles outline the rights and responsbilities of young people when accessing specialist youth homelessness services.

For a copy of these Principles - click here.

Helpful Information about Specialist Youth Homelessness Services

For crisis accommodation, the length of stay can be anywhere between 1 night to 3 months. Crisis accommodation is generally supported, which means that a staff member is onsite 24 hours a day. Some shelters are specifically for young people who are 13- 17yrs, some for 15-17yrs or 16-21yrs. There are shelters that house both males and females, and some that only house females, or only house males, and most crisis shelters cater for individuals rather than for young couples. If you need crisis accommodation, generally you would phone the service on the day that you are seeking accommodation.

For medium to long term accommodation, you are able to stay for a period of 6 months to 1 year. The referral process for being accepted into a medium to long term placement varies with each service. You may need to have an initial interview or visit to the house to see if the service suits your needs, and this might include a dinner visit/short stay with current occupants. You may then complete an application form that includes your personal details. Most medium to long term supported placements have criteria that young people must meet in order to be eligible for a placement. For example, part of the criteria could include that the young person is involved, or is willing to be involved in a daily activity (school, work, or training). It may also be necessary for the young person to have an income for the payment of rent.

For externally supported accommodation, you are able to stay for a period of 1 year.  The accommodation is usually a flat/unit where you can live with support provided.  You usually need to put your name down on a waiting list and you need to discuss what sort of support you need.  There is a lease and a support contract that you need to sign. 

A centre based/open access servics is usually a youth service where you can literally access at any time to access resources and support; a youth worker, access a computer or participate in a group or centre based activity.  You just need to check with the service about their hours.  

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