A generous grant from the renowned Jack Brockhoff Foundation will propel The Wodonga Project from concept to delivery.
(Media coverage below)
The Wodonga Project brings together schools, health, mental health, housing, youth specialists, council and other services to identify and act early to support local young people.
The Project aims to identify students in the school system who are at early risk of homelessness, mental health and school disengagement and then provide the necessary support for them and their families before the crisis occurs.
“The Wodonga Project extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Jack Brockhoff Foundation for its support and looks forward to making a transformative impact on the lives of Wodonga’s youth,” says The Wodonga Project leader Rachel Habgood.
“While we don’t yet have the funding required to work with the whole community, thanks to the Jack Brockhoff Foundation, we can start.”
The initial focus of The Wodonga Project will be Year 10 students at Wodonga Senior Secondary College in 2024.
“The Wodonga Project represents an innovative and proactive approach to intervene early and ensure better educational opportunities and brighter futures for young people,” says Wodonga Senior Secondary College assistant principal Matt Moylan.
The Wodonga Project has adopted the innovative Australian Community of Services and Schools (COSS) Model to address significant youth-related issues in Wodonga, specifically, youth homelessness and early school leaving.
This evidence-based model can prevent people aged 12-18 from experiencing homelessness and disengaging from education.
It has produced significant positive outcomes elsewhere.
In Albury and Geelong, the model results show a reduction of 40 per cent of young people entering the homelessness system and a 50 per cent reduction in school disengagement.
Expanding the COSS Model to additional Victorian sites was one of the recommendations of the 2021 Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria.
The Wodonga Project will require private funding until early intervention and prevention funding is available in line with the implementation of the new Federal Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
“This is the beginning of our COSS journey in Wodonga,” says The Wodonga Project leader Rachel Habgood.
“We are actively seeking and talking with other philanthropic bodies to co-invest in this crucial work.
“The greater the funding investment, the greater the cohort we can support.”
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