Homestead for Youth (H4Y)
H4Y www.homesteadforyouth.org is a great organisation run by dynamic and dedicated young people, currently mostly volunteers. Their focus is on early intervention with at-risk youth which, in the longer term, fits with our homelessness program – if we get them on the right path now, they won’t be homeless in the future.
H4Y is essential to our goals with both Mandurah and Aqua: They own the land where we can establish and expand our growing projects. In addition their young people will be able to interact with our older people in a controlled work environment, which can only be beneficial to both parties. This will help us to build a model where we can engage young and older people in Sesteem Social Enterprise businesses across the country.
In addition to their proposed farm at Meelon, H4Y has a lease option on five acres of land right next to ours at Aqua. We would like to establish a Try, Test and Learn centre on this block, which can be used by all of our clients and also the H4Y kids.
H4Y maintains an office in Pinjarra, which they use to provide Psychology and Counselling services to children, youth and their families. Psychology services are provided by Carla, a registered psychologist and CEO of H4Y, together with a small team of Psychologists, Counsellors and Therapists.
The Peel region struggles to cope with the saturation of mental health, youth disengagement and juvenile behaviour in the towns. H4Y provides the only high engagement, hands on psychology and counselling service in Pinjarra dedicated solely to at-risk youth (including their families) and they are hugely under-resourced. They receive requests for assistance not only from the town of Pinjarra itself but from as far afield as Mandurah and Rockingham, Fremantle and Perth.
In January 2017, H4Y received 13 referrals from local health providers to their Psychology clinic. By the month of April, 2017, 46 clients were regularly attending the clinic. Their Reloaded mentor program, art and equine therapeutic programs have doubled in numbers since January. Sadly, they have a waitlist of 6 young people needing their residential program because they do not have the resources to cope with demand.
All H4Y farm based activities are currently carried out at a 148 acre property called Meelon, about 20 km. from Pinjarra. This property is currently run as a horse agistment business by the owner who also grants us the use of parts of the land for H4Y activities. They have an agreement with the owner to purchase Meelon for $1.9 million. Sesteem is currently helping them to seek advice on financing options for the purchase. There is no time pressure on settlement of this transaction.
Apart from some sporadic small donations, they have no regular source of income. H4Y is currently funded from H4Y’s Psychology and Counselling clinic, fee for service and Sponsor-A-Life donations. For each session that Carla shares with a client, the practice earns a fee from Medicare, NDIS or the WA Dept. of Child Protection. From this income stream they pay a modest salary to only two staff members. All other staff are volunteers. Low income families can still access therapy utilizing the Medicare mental health care plan system. Sesteem is currently helping them to explore ways to boost this regular income.
H4Y is also seeking funds to help them to further their Re-Loaded mentoring program. This program provides young people with access to a range of ‘Try, Test & Learn’ (TTL) activities in a safe, rural environment, combined with one-on-one counselling from trained volunteer mentors. The H4Y goal is to help them to identify activities that see young people and their families recover from dysfunction, trauma, addictions and mental health issues. As they participate in their recovery they simultaneously gain positive work readiness skills. In the future H4Y will be able to offer accredited training certificates through collaboration with existing Registered Training Organisations.