Youth homelessness project Studio Purpose aims to raise $100k in Murray Bridge

Young people at risk of homelessness will soon have access to specialist emergency accommodation in Murray Bridge for the first time.

Non-profit organisation AC Care has secured a building for the purpose.

A fundraising campaign launching today will aim to raise $100,000 needed to convert it into four residential units.

The units will be made available for short-term lease to people aged 15 to 21 as part of a broader program which will help them plan for future work, study and/or family life.

Homelessness manager Thanuja Hiripitiyage said some of AC Care's young clients were unable to find anywhere to live in Murray Bridge, and ended up sleeping rough.

The community's support would help the project's partners - who also include Habitat for Humanity, Headspace, the SA Housing Authority, the Murray Bridge council and Anglicare SA - make a meaningful, long-term difference in young people's lives, she said.

"The project is aimed at addressing a shortage of safe accommodation for young people in the area," she said.

"But (it) is about much more than a warm bed and a welcoming space, with a focus on health and wellbeing, education, development, connection and engagement.

"We want to ... provide holistic support to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

"This will be achieved by building on young people's culture, skills, knowledge, experience and strengths, while recognising diversity."

SA Housing Authority chief executive Michael Buchan suggested the project would give young people the stability they needed to engage with support services and, in time, find their own homes or reunite with family members.

Those within the age range who are receiving an independent income and not in state care will be eligible for help.

Habitat for Humanity, which will lead the construction work, has put a call out for volunteers, material and money to help it get the job done.

Its executive director for SA, Ben Sarre, said every contribution would help.

"This project provides an opportunity for people to use their skills and resources to make a genuine and positive difference in lives of young people in the Murraylands," he said.


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