People of Kids Under Cover

Pete Zwiers is Kids Under Cover’s Head of Programs. His focus is on implementing our Studio and Scholarships Programs and expanding our programs to support even more young people and their families.

Pete holding up a sign that describes why youth homelessness matters

What led you to work at Kids Under Cover?

Working in homelessness prevention appealed to me because youth homelessness shouldn’t be a problem in Australia and it is disappointing that it is still a problem facing our young people. While it can be daunting at times, we can fix this as a society.

It is rare to work in an organisation that works truly in homelessness prevention. So many other organisations work in crisis accommodation and homelessness services, which is valuable work, but to be working in prevention is really powerful.

 

What do you love about your role?

Seeing the immediate impact that our programs have on families. Our work directly supports young people and has a long-term impact not only for them, but everyone in their family.

 

And what is the most challenging?

It’s really hard that we don’t have enough funding to build a studio for everyone young person and family that needs our help. It creates pressure and a sense of guilt that we can’t help everyone – especially as we know how effective our programs are in preventing youth homelessness.

 

What impact do you see Kids Under Cover’s programs having?

There are immediate benefits that we see, like an increase in education engagement for the young person, reduction in time spent away from home and reduced family conflict.

The long-term benefits are that our programs help keep families together and avoid a gateway into homelessness for young people. The younger a person is when they first experience homelessness, the more likely they are to become chronically homeless, and we are stopping that from happening.

 

What makes Kids Under Cover different to other organisations?

We are the only ones that do what we do in Australia. The combination of studios and scholarships that we offer is a very unique solution to prevent youth homelessness. It’s amazing to be part of.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Working at Kids Under Cover has given me so much insight into an issue that I was previously very unaware of. The more I’ve been exposed to the youth homelessness crisis in Australia, the more motived I am to help and make a change.