St Laurence House is committed to teach life skills and provide a better ongoing quality of life to disadvantaged, homeless and at-risk youth.
About St Laurence House
St Laurence House has provided accommodation, support and care to homeless children and young people for the past 40 years, since we were established in 1978.
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
Trauma Informed Care (TIC) has been the foundation of St Laurence House’s approach and is internationally recognised as the best approach for working with young people with difficult personal histories and complex needs.
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
St Laurence House’s residential program provides care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a home environment to four homeless or at-risk children between 13 and 18 years of age.
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
Our Supported Transitional Accommodation for Youth (STAY) program provides a much-needed intensive living skills program and support to 16 to 25-year olds who are at risk of becoming homeless. Many of these young people have been through the child protection and homelessness systems for years, and as a result, haven’t developed the necessary life skills to live independently.
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.