A four-level youth refuge and office has been completed in the Melbourne CBD following a philanthropic contribution by numerous property advisers, developers and building product suppliers.
Melbourne City Mission’s Frontyard Youth Refuge is the first property in Australia to combine crisis accommodation with support services accessible 24 hours a day.
The $9 million project, dubbed a world-first model when construction commenced last July, is at 19 King Street, a site MCM has occupied since 1989.
Some $1.5 million worth of pro-bono services were co-ordinated by the Property Industry Foundation to complete the facility. Companies including Ashurst, Case Meallin, Slattery, Fender Katsalidis, Norman Disney Young, Built, Hendry Group, Equitable Access Solutions, Irwinconsult, Wood and Grieve Engineers and Urbis provided resources.
Alongside these consultants, suppliers to have donated materials for the development include Harvey Norman, Highbury Plumbing, Haydens Ceiling and Partitions, Signorino Tiles, Taubmans Paint, Apec, AMP and AGL Energy.
At the launch of the project last week, MCM chief executive Vicki Sutton said “only a fully-integrated service will effectively meet the needs of our most marginalised young people with complex needs who are currently falling through the cracks of siloed service systems”.
“Without appropriate interventions, young people can become further entrenched in long-term homelessness and disadvantage. The pioneering Frontyard model aims to break this cycle by supporting young people to create a future where they can experience all the benefits of life we often take for granted”.
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor added that the council was contributing $480,000 to the service.
As part of the Frontyard model, people sleeping on the streets will be approached and offered accommodation.
PIF chairman Peter Inge said “it’s encouraging to see the property industry donate their time and expertise to a physical facility that will assist at-risk and homeless young people”.
“We’re proud that our industry has come together to…design and deliver the redeveloped Frontyard facility, which will service the most severely marginalised and disadvantaged youth in our city.
“Our committed team of pro-bono consultants from some of the largest players in the industry, have worked tirelessly to deliver this project on time and on budget”.