CEO Message – Autumn 2021

I have a number of exciting pieces of news to share with you about Kids Under Cover and the homelessness sector.

Jo Swift with the Hon. Richard Wynne and Kids Under Cover Chairman George Liacos at the Village 21 launch.
Jo Swift with the Hon. Richard Wynne and Kids Under Cover Chairman George Liacos at the Village 21 launch.

I’m delighted to announce that Kids Under Cover’s youth homelessness prevention program is expanding to South Australia. We have received $2.3 million in funding through the Marshall Liberal Government’s Homelessness Prevention Fund. With the support of the South Australian Government and generous philanthropic donors, we will build 51 studios in South Australia over three years, preventing 78 young people from experiencing homelessness. We are so excited to be able to provide our life changing studio program to young people and families in South Australia.

There has also been some big news for the homelessness sector this year, benefiting the most vulnerable in our community. Over the past 21 months a Parliamentary Inquiry has been conducted into homelessness in Victoria. Last month the final report was tabled, with the committee making 51 recommendations to the Victorian Government.

There is a significant focus on early intervention of homelessness in the report, and I am very proud to share with you that Kids Under Cover was specifically named in one of the recommendations. I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution Brittnie (a former studio and scholarship recipient) has made as part of our submission to this inquiry. Brittnie bravely shared her experience with being at-risk of homelessness and the impact Kids Under Cover has had in her life at the in-person presentation at Parliament House. We look forward to the Victorian Government’s response to the report.

As you may be aware, last May we made the difficult decision to temporarily close applications for our studio program due to insufficient funding. Since then we have received more than 600 enquiries for our studios in Victoria and at this stage we are still unable to re-open applications. We are hoping to increase our available funding soon to be able to provide our studios to the young people and their families who desperately need them.

As we approach the end of the financial year, I am reflecting on the impact we have had over the past 12 months. While we have all faced uncertainty and change, the one thing that has remained consistent has been our shared commitment to preventing youth homelessness. I am so grateful for kind and generous supporters like you that are as dedicated to our mission as we are. Thank you for your ongoing support, it is making a life changing difference to hundreds of vulnerable young people and their families.

 

Jo Swift

Chief Executive Officer

Kids Under Cover