About St Laurence House
Our programs are run in accordance with the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Program, regulated by the NSW Department of Families and Community Services (FACS).
We have evolved from originally being a drop-in centre/crisis refuge to a long-term residential service staffed 24 hours a day, a second semi-supported unit, and an outreach program to assist young people to maintain their tenancies.
We are experts in working with young people who have experienced trauma, grief and loss. We teach our children to be independent and self-sufficient so that they can open the door to productive lives free of welfare assistance.
Sadly, there is a growing need for our services and we are seeking to further expand our programs to help more young people in need.
Trauma Informed Care
In 2017, former NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, The Hon. Brad Hazzard, named St Laurence House as the benchmark in NSW for the way the Trauma Informed Care model is applied to provide support to at-risk children and youth.
Trauma-informed care could be described as a framework for human service delivery that is based on knowledge and understanding of how trauma affects people’s lives and their service needs (Harris & Fallot, 2001).
There are no easy remedies or short cuts in helping young people overcome many years of hurt and neglect. This takes a very long time, and considerable commitment, sensitivity and careful planning by the staff at St Laurence House
We are the only place for boys and girls in NSW that provides the time and stability necessary so children can recover from their trauma and develop necessary life skills.
We have also partnered with St George Community Housing to provide long-term accommodation in a semi-supported unit to two additional young people at risk of homelessness, to help them mature and successfully move to independent living.
To date, we have supported over 1000 children and young people in our long-term accommodation, most of whom have gone on to live productive lives.
Client case plans are an integral part of our residential program. We also network and partner widely with other homeless youth services to ensure best practice and a seamless experience for the young people we help. For instance, a young person entering a crisis service may be identified immediately as a potential future resident for St Laurence House. We also work to identify service gaps with other youth services.
STAY Outreach Program
The program focuses on areas such as finance, self-care, property maintenance, education support and employment support to name a few, and is delivered through an outreach worker on a one-to-one basis.
Outreach workers meet with the client at least once a week and discuss issues specific to their situation.
In the past year, 35 young people took part in the STAY program and 80% of participants managed to keep their secure tenancy.