Kids Under Cover is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preventing youth homelessness.
Kids Under Cover supports vulnerable young people at risk of homelessness by building studios
There are many ways to get involved and help at-risk young people and their families.
The Kids Under Cover Studio Program currently houses 940 young people each night in Victoria. We’re proud that the work we do enables us to support so many vulnerable young people.
But, we want to do more, and with your help we can do more.
We’re aiming to provide safe and stable accommodation for 1000 young people in Victoria by the end of 2022. That’s an extra 60 young Victorians, which equates to an additional 4,200 nights of accommodation in the fight against youth homelessness.
We know accommodation is only the beginning. Our studios help to build the foundation of a brighter future for young people.
That’s why we need your help to create opportunities for 1000 young people, allowing them to flourish, finish their education and fulfil their potential. This is about more than just accommodation, it’s about futures – #1000futures.
Three young people share their experiences of being on the brink of homelessness as part of our #1000futures campaign.
Chloe ran away to escape a loveless home, Jett struggled to focus on his high school studies in a crowded and rowdy house, and Scott couldn’t find the space to breathe in a small house with six siblings.
Hear their voices in the audio clips below.
At 17 years old, Chloe has been through a lot.
Growing up, she was bullied at school, while home offered little love and no stability. For various reasons, she wasn’t able to live with her Mum, so she spent a lot of her time trying to find somewhere else to be.
Chloe feared she’d have to drop out of school before reaching Year 10 and didn’t feel she could find anywhere she truly belonged. Eventually she ran away from home to be with her mum.
For a while Chloe slept on the couch, then in a friend’s bus, and ended up sharing a room with her mum in a place too small to accommodate a growing teenager. When Kids Under Cover offered to build studio accommodation in the backyard of their place, Chloe’s journey began to take a more positive path.
For Chloe, it seems like a simple solution for what was a complex situation. But her studio offers the stability she has lacked most of her teenage life. It’s also helped build confidence that she can achieve her goals.
When three teenage boys live in a two-bedroom home with their mum, things can get a bit rowdy. According to Jett, he and his brothers used to fight a lot. At times, he’d take himself to the shed at night and wait until his siblings had fallen asleep, just so he knew the house would be quiet when he went to bed. In his final years of high school, it’s no surprise Jett found it hard to focus on study.
Jett’s backyard studio was delivered by Kids Under Cover just as the pandemic began to sweep the globe. Without it, he and his brothers would have shared a room throughout the lockdowns, a situation Jett says would have prevented him getting through school.
Having just turned 18, Jett has finished Year 12 and is working full-time. He’s looking forward to getting his car on the road, enjoying a new-found social life, and attributes his sense of independence to learning how to look after himself and his own space.
It’s lucky Scott is such a family man. One of seven kids in his home growing up – with the occasional foster child added to the mix – there was never much time or space to get a break.
Now 22, Scott has moved out and he and his partner recently welcomed their first child to the fold. But it wasn’t until he was given some breathing space via a Kids Under Cover studio that he really felt he was able to think ahead and prepare for the transition to independence.
It was the breathing space he noticed most. The ability to wind down, to recover from school and work, and to have the opportunity to be still without family activity constantly humming around him. It’s hard to imagine how, in an environment as crowded and busy as it was, someone like Scott could get a chance to build the future he’s living today.
An independent survey* of more than 150 parents and carers across Victoria whose families are supported by our Studio Program revealed the extra room provided by a studio relieves overcrowding.
It also eases family tensions and provides young people with a secure and stable environment.
Vulnerable young people are less likely to take part in frequent risk-taking behaviour, down from 35 per cent to six per cent, the survey found.
Meanwhile, school performance improves, from 49 per cent to 86 per cent of students performing well, and frequent family conflict is reduced, from 70 per cent down to 16 per cent.
Join the campaign by liking and sharing our #1000futures social media posts, telling your friends about us or by making a donation here to help us provide support for 1000 vulnerable young Victorians.
Or get involved your way – we’re always heartened by the ideas people come up with to support us, from corporate golf days to school fundraisers, where young people have reached into their own piggy banks to chip in a few dollars.
Every effort counts and all funds raised go towards giving a family the space they need.
The ways you can help are endless. Here are just a few:
Any gift of any size given on a regular basis has an impact through our work to prevent youth homelessness.
Regardless of the value of your pre-loved vehicle, we can assess it to be auctioned to raise funds for more studios.
Leaving a gift in your will for a cause you feel close to is one of the most generous legacies you can leave.
Use your imagination! There are countless ways to involve your community to get behind Kids Under Cover. From swear jars to skydives, bingo and discos – we can help you get started.
Showing that your organisation or business is committed to a great cause is a proven way to boost the confidence of your customers and employees.
Follow us, share our stories, help spread the word. The more we encourage others to support positive outcomes for young people, the better.
“My name is Trang. I was born in Vietnam and came to Australia when I was six years old. My dad had emigrated to Australia and remarried, so he brought my siblings and I to Australia to live with him and our stepmother.
My dad worked a lot and was not often home. From the day we arrived in Australia, my stepmother physically abused us. Later my father physically abused us too.
My siblings and I did everything. My older sister did all the cooking, I did all the cleaning, my younger sister was in the backyard, sweeping.
I remember the school calling me into the principal’s office when I was about 11 years old. I thought I was in trouble. When I arrived, there were child protection workers. One of my teachers must have seen the bruises.
At around age 13 I was removed from the house by child protection workers. At that time, I was sharing a bedroom with my sisters and my grandmother. I ended up moving from foster home to foster home, eventually becoming a ward of the state.
At 15, I was introduced to Kids Under Cover. They provided me with a secure and stable environment so I could continue, and go on to finish, my high school education and then enter tertiary studies (I now have a degree in Psychology from Monash University).
Today I am 41 and recently built my first house – a home for my teenage daughter and I filled with love and laughter, the opposite of what I had when I was a child.
Without the assistance provided by Kids Under Cover I wouldn’t be where I am today. They gave me a future.”
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