Village 21

Creating a Village to Support Young People 

As part of the funding announcement by the Andrews Labor Government at the start of the year, Kids Under Cover was included in the plan to break the cycle of homelessness. Funded by a one-off grant from the Victorian State Government to specifically support at-risk young people aged 18-21, village 21 is essentially a scaled up, co-located version of our existing Studio Program.  

A first of its kind, Village 21 is an accommodation and support program based on a village concept, assisting at-risk young people aged 18 – 21 years who are leaving Out-of-home care (OOHC). Anglicare Victoria’s ‘Home Stretch’ campaign to increase the leaving care age from 18 to 21 years heightened the real need for further support. Until the provision of care is extended we must do more for this group of vulnerable young people.

Currently in Victoria (and many other states) once a young person turns 18 funding to their carer ceases and they are exited from OOHC. It has been reported that 35% of young people leaving care once they hit 18 end up homeless in the first year1. Many are ill-equipped with skills to live independently and within one year, 50% of state care leavers will be unemployed, in jail, homeless or had become a new parent2.

Delivered in partnership with Anglicare Victoria, Village 21 is designed to interrupt the spiral of young people leaving care often find themselves on. By providing six relocatable studios in western metropolitan Melbourne for young people to live in, with support, for two to three years young people will be given the opportunity to live independently. This village environment will assist in creating strong connections back to the community and teach skills in self-sufficiency. Six young people and a professional mentor will reside on site with regular visits by Anglicare Victoria staff with expertise in employment and study pathways. The Village is designed to support communal activities such as cooking, maintaining shared gardens and learning life skills.  

1 CREATE foundation on care leavers (Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2010)

2   Return to Undercover News Autumn edition homepage