The Link Youth Justice Housing program provides an alternative housing model to young people aged 16-22 who have involvement with the criminal justice system and are at risk of homelessness.
How does the program help?
The Link Youth Justice Housing program provides the support and stability young people need to reset their lives after contact with the criminal justice system.
Evidence and experience tell us the majority of young people exit the criminal justice system into homelessness or inadequate housing and are at risk of reoffending simply to meet their basic housing, food and healthcare needs. The Link Youth Justice Housing program interrupts this cycle, to provide young people with safe, supported and stable ongoing living arrangements, and provides a crucial after-hours service to support young people at their highest-risk times for engaging in anti-social behaviour.
How does the program work?
The Link Youth Justice Housing Program provides two years of stable and suitable accommodation, and connects young people with relevant services and after-hours support to maximise their opportunities to move away from offending and towards a stable, independent life in the community.
Jesuit Social Services delivers Link Youth Justice Housing Program in partnership with VincentCare Victoria:
- VincentCare leases a private rental property, then sub-leases to participants under a head leasing scheme
- participants contribute 25% of their income towards full market rent over a two-year period
- participants have a say in where they would like to live, and the option to share housing with family or friends – in negotiation with real estate agents – if they express interest in taking over the lease at end of two-year support period.
Who can participate in the program?
Young people of all genders aged between 16 and 22 years who have historical and/or current involvement with the criminal justice system and homelessness service system are eligible for the Link Youth Justice Housing Program.
To be involved with the program, young people must be:
- in receipt of primary case management throughout their two-year support period
- have demonstrated a willingness and/or capacity to reside independently and develop living skills
- have connection to the areas in which the program is delivered
- in receipt of either Centrelink and/or employment income.
Where is the program offered?
Link Youth Justice Housing is based in Sunshine, with after-hours outreach support delivered in 14 local government areas in Melbourne’s north and west: Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea, Nillumbik, Banyule, Darebin, Moreland, Moonee Valley, Brimbank, Hobson Bay, Maribyrnong, Yarra and Melbourne.