Homeless kids on local agenda

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
City of Busselton Deputy Mayor Kelly Hick, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Mayor Grant Henley, WA opposition leader Liza Harvey and City of Busselton Youth Development Officer Angela Griffin discussed youth crisis accommodation at Busselton Youth precinct on Tuesday
Camera IconCity of Busselton Deputy Mayor Kelly Hick, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Mayor Grant Henley, WA opposition leader Liza Harvey and City of Busselton Youth Development Officer Angela Griffin discussed youth crisis accommodation at Busselton Youth precinct on Tuesday Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Picture: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Busselton community stakeholders have stepped up their campaign to help children sleeping rough.

At a meeting between the City of Busselton and State Opposition leader Liza Harvey on Tuesday, City youth development officer Angela Griffin said the youth precinct often had to turn away children who could not go home after-hours.

She said youth workers were left with no option other than to suggest children present to Busselton Health Services for shelter.

Ms Harvey said Busselton needed two youth crime intervention officers in Busselton but the McGowan Government “didn’t want to deal with the problem”. “Work needs to be done on identifying how many kids are at risk and ensuring they have crisis support and protection,” she said.

Accordwest offers a four-bedroom facility in Busselton and a six-bedroom facility in Bunbury for 18 to 24-year-olds.

However, nothing is available to minors.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the City had been a “long-time” advocate for the establishment of youth crisis accommodation. “There is no crisis accommodation in the district,” he said. “This (Bunbury) facility is often full and a minor will still need to be signed into the facility by a guardian.”

Mr Henley said around 15-20 young people were sleeping rough in Busselton.

Department of Communities assistant director for regional service delivery Rachel Green said the department was working with the City of Busselton to develop support and evaluate crisis accommodation.

She said homelessness could “profoundly affect” a young person’s mental and physical health, education and employment opportunities.

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