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passages r e s o u r c e centre

creating new destinies

Chairman’s Report 2013 has been another busy year for Passages Northbridge and Peel with many young people in our community relying on these two vital services for shelter, warmth, food, comfort, support and friendship. It is evident that the issue of homelessness is still at the forefront of issues in the community, with people of all ages and demographics experiencing homelessness more than ever before. Passages provides a unique service in that it caters to young people between the ages of 12 years and 25 years and its referral services and facilities are centred around this demographic, including kitchen and laundry facilities, computer and mail facilities, Street Dr, counselling, job seeker assistance, education and training support, mental health support and accommodation referrals. With little to no ongoing funding, community awareness and support are critical to the ongoing operation of both the Northbridge and Peel services. Fundraising, by joint venture partners the Rotary Club of Perth and the St Vincent de Paul Society, is the main supporting income for Passages and this continues to be a challenging task. Passages and the work it does in the community remains central to the advocacy undertaken over the course of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout and this awareness is critical in ensuring that Passages maintains community support. I encourage all business and community leaders to join the 2014 Vinnies CEO Sleepout event and do something about raising funds for and awareness of homelessness. Likewise, the Passages Race Day raises much needed funding for Passages Northbridge, last year was a tough year around WA with many sectors affected by the downturn in the economy meaning understandably some of our ongoing supporters were not able to sponsor tables

or offer auction items, I ask anyone who is in a position to help, to please support this event in 2014, it’s a fun day, but more importantly it raises vital funds to keep Passages Northbridge operating. I hope you find this edition of the Passages newsletter interesting; inside we cover some of the main issues before us, including synthetic drugs and the rising rates of homelessness in Peel, as well as taking the opportunity to acknowledge some of the great support we have had over 2013. On behalf of the joint venture partners the Rotary Club of Perth and the St Vincent de Paul Society, and the Passages Northbridge and Peel boards I would like to thank and acknowledge all of our benefactors, partners and supporters over 2013. I would also like to acknowledge the great work of our Passages staff, they do an amazing job under at times difficult circumstances and I thank them all for their efforts over 2013. And in closing, I would like to personally thank the Passages Northbridge and Peel boards for their ongoing commitment and support. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We will be in touch again in May 2014

Kind regards David Reed OAM Chairman Passages Resource Centre Board

Vinnies CEO Sleepout This year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout was another great success in both awareness of the issues relating to homelessness in this state and nationally, as well as by raising much needed funds to support services like the Passages Resource Centre. This year’s top fundraiser Dale Alcock, Managing Director ABN group raised $134,000, followed closely by Crown Chief Executive Officer Barry Felstead on $94,200. Along with our top fundraisers another 105 business and community leaders contributed to raising the highest ever tally on record for this event – an amazing $1.2 million. We

A newsletter from Passages Resource Centre

acknowledge and thank all of our ‘CEO’s’, our partners, as well as the West Australian community for their support of this event. Funds raised for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout provided significant support for the Passages Resource Centres in particular through operational support for the Peel location. Registrations for the 2014 Vinnies CEO Sleepout are open now. Please encourage any business and community leaders you know to visit for more information, to register or make a donation!

Issue 08 | Summer 2013

Homelessness in Peel The Peel region continues to be of concern to many in the community in relation to the issue of homelessness. Passages Peel has been operating in the region for two years and has become a vital lifeline to many homeless young people in the community. The Homelessness Strategic Plan undertaken by the Peel Homelessness Reference Group of which St Vincent de Paul Society Conference President is part of, was released in 2012 and in addition the City of Mandurah has also released a plan to address homelessness in the region. PEEL AWAY THE MASK II REPORT of the Peel Community Development Group states -: “Housing availability and affordability is a critical issue across the Peel region. Housing affordability, as measured by median income divided by median house prices, has more than halved across the region. Those most severely affected by increases in the cost of housing are groups highly represented in the Peel region: young people and families (constituting a large proportion of the current growth particularly in Serpentine Jarrahdale), retirees, and those on low incomes.”

The report also states that rapid development of these issues have contributed to a range of social issues such as community division, potential isolation of newcomers, environmental impacts, and widespread concern around loss of the region’s rural character and amenity. Increasingly, moderate income earners in the region are reported to be experiencing housing stress. Similarly, the report advises that there is a lack of specialised crisis accommodation, and timely specialised crisis assessment services, designed to meet the needs of youth. In particular, there is nothing for those under the age of 15 years, those suffering from mental illness, and those experiencing drug and alcohol related crises. Importantly, the lack of affordable housing makes the shift to post-crisis accommodation almost impossible. As one service provider pointed out, there is little point in increasing crisis accommodation without also increasing stocks of appropriate to medium to long-term transition housing. The St Vincent de Paul Society has made an application to the Department of Housing for 17 transitional houses. The Society has 5 MOUs with local service providers who will support the individuals transitioning out of homelessness. This work was the result of a research and a report undertaken by WestAus and WACOSS.

In addition to this work, homeless clients have become a significant part of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Conferences workload in the Peel area and is proving to be a very complex issue for local volunteers due to what they feel is their limited ability to help. Without accommodation most of the people Passages and the St Vincent de Paul Society volunteers assist face a very uncertain future, their health suffers and they are at risk of violence. Some of these have temporary accommodation in caravan parks. The actual totals are believed to be higher as those with temporary housing are not recorded by the local Conference as homeless eg those living in caravan parks or with a friend or relative.

Jacob’s Story ssing old and started acce Jacob is 24 years rence er the local Confe Passages Peel aft Upon him to the service. volunteers referred uation and discussing his sit meeting with Jacob d by s, it was determine and immediate need dire er that Jacob was in Passage Youth Work e and ms including furnitur need of emergency ite urah ently moved to Mand bedding. Jacob had rec Jacob own of a relationship. following the breakd and he missed his children was quite depressed, . ity ce in the new commun was feeling out of pla or was are that Passages do Jacob was made aw chat. ed help or even just to open to him if he need ekly the facilities on a we Jacob started utilising more was able to share basis and eventually ers. Passages Youth Work of his story with the l fee to nths he was starting After a couple of mo rk, s ready to look for wo settled and said he wa , and red and at times lonely he mentioned being bo things to fill his day. wished he had more wish ers suggested he may Passages Youth Work uld wo t tha s se ur ng TAFE co to look at the upcomi ra. jar Pin in ge lla Vi irbridge be commencing at Fa ges interested in and Passa Jacob said he would be at to r from Fairbridge to ch arranged for the Mento rolled lowing day. Jacob en him at Passages the fol ment ge na Ma nd and La in the Conservation over s been attending for Certificate 2 and ha ge has e Trainer at Fairbrid four weeks now. Th g and cob is an outstandin reported back that Ja in this ll definitely do well keen student who wi line of work. ure the door to a better fut Passages Peel opened to y wa his on now well for Jacob and he is w ne a ng ati cre d destiny an taking control of his life for himself.

Passages Northbridge Art Program Malachai is a young person who attended Passages Resource Centre Northbridge for many years and recently exited homelessness and is living independently within the community. Malachai has always had a keen interest and particular talent in art and wanted to continue his art and work with young people. Following discussions with the Passages Northbridge team he has started delivering art sessions once a month. Malachai’s aim is to show and explain to other young people the different types of painting and techniques. He also wants to show other young people that “Painting is an expression of yourself and anyone can do it, also a good stress relief and fun”. Malachai recently painted an old skate board and gave it to Passages to put up in the centre.

Synthetic Drugs - an Increasing Issue A recent letter to the Kalgoorlie Miner by Founder and CEO of New South Wales Youth Off The Streets service - Fr Chris Riley, highlighted the issue of the increasing scourge of Synthetic Drugs on our young people. His comments only confirmed what many of Passages staff have identified, which is a very real problem, that has very real consequences, for both the young people using these drugs and for Passages staff in how to deal with the impact on the Passages services. Passages Chairman, David Reed recently visited the Front Yard Youth service in Melbourne, who also identified a worrying increase in the use of these substances, like Passages staff they have seen an increase in difficult behaviour directly or indirectly from the use of synthetic substances. Synthetic drugs, commonly known as “synthetic marijuana,” “K2,” or “Spice”, are often sold in legal retail outlets as “herbal incense” or “potpourri”, and are often sold as “bath salts” or “jewelry cleaner”. They are labeled “not for human consumption” to mask their intended purpose and avoid regulatory oversight of the manufacturing process. The supply of these drugs is clouded in a myriad of legalities with a new drug created for every one that is banned. The physical effects of synthetic drugs include severe agitation and anxiety, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia (fast,

racing heartbeat), elevated blood pressure, tremors and seizures, hallucinations, dilated pupils. Behaviourally the affects of these drugs are also highly damaging with harmful and violent thoughts and actions common and suicidal tendencies evident. As well as the physical and behavioural changes being drastic; the danger of becoming addicted and having substance abuse issues is significant. Many consistent users of synthetic drugs often end up homeless and those, who are young, will often seek help from organisations like Passages locally and interstate Youth off the Streets and Front Yard. Passages staff are seeing daily the devastating impact of synthetic drugs, as more and more consistent users start to access the Passages services. Passages staff are currently doing all they can to handle the behavioural impacts that are affecting the Passages services, as well as educating themselves on the physical impacts of these drugs and the potential risks to both the Passages visitors and the service and staff. Reference: Youth of the Street, Fr Chris Riley, Founder & CEO,

Can you help Passages? Passages Peel and Northbridge rely on the generosity of the community to continue their good work, if you can assist through financial or material donation please contact the St Vincent de Paul Society Fundraising Coordinator on 9475 5414 or

Passages Northbridge Accommodation Program Passages Northbridge has seven properties offering shared accommodation to young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

vital shelter and who are then supported through their pregnancy and after the baby is born by St John of God, Horizon.

Young people are offered a short term tenancy of three months with the opportunity to extend the accommodation arrangement to twelve months. Each young person links in with Case Managers from various agencies as well as the Passages’ Accommodation Officer who oversees the case management of the Passages tenants, supporting them and offering assistance as they require. Passages accommodation gives the young people we support an opportunity to live independently and work on their individual goals.

Passages will support and assist the new mums with their transition into long term housing over a 9 to 12 month period, this will be done in conjunction with assistance from Horizon workers. As each young mother moves on, another will be referred from Horizon House Dianella.

We are delighted to work in partnership with St John of God’s Horizon House offering accommodation to young mothers. Horizon House Dianella currently accommodates young homeless pregnant women, who are provided with

Homeless Persons Week 2013- Foreshore Mandurah

A number of local services and agencies came together at the Peel Homeless Persons Week Event “The Hidden Homeless of Peel” to showcase their services, provide information and where appropriate advice to anyone who dropped by throughout the day. Many locals were able to enjoy a free fresh cooked hot breakfast of bacon and egg burgers, sausages, muffins tea and coffee, all generously supplied and cooked by the Peel Community Kitchen. Local agencies handed out handmade scarves, beanies, toys, books, personal hygiene packs, swags, blankets, water bottles and various other items to people in need. The Peel Mobile Health Van was on site providing free health checks and information and the City of Mandurah provided many young people with gift bags containing info on “What’s On” in the Mandurah area. Many of the local homeless people were given disposable cameras encouraging them to take photos of a week in the life of homelessness, to be showcased at a later date and lunch was a free sausage sizzle provided by the Reach Out Drop In Centre.

Passages would like to thank Lotterywest for the recent funding to re-furbish and re-fit the Passages Units. The Lotterywest funding grant has helped us especially configure the house for babies. The house has been in operation for over two months now and the young women and their babies are really thriving.

Healthy Cooking Healthy cooking continues to run each Tuesday at Passages Northbridge and Peel with health and wellness being the overall focus. The program brings young people into the service; it allows staff to talk about health and wellbeing and builds rapport with the young visitors. This trust and rapport is vital to Passages Youth Workers in trying to engage young people and assist them with things such as health and medical support, education and training, accommodation and lifestyle choices.

Peel Mobile Health Service The Peel Mobile Health Service now visits Passages every Tuesday morning with a nurse on board, and fortnightly with a doctor. Young people have been able to link in with vital service for health advice and support.


22-25 8%

19-21 31%

Age Breakdown:

16-18 49%

Age Breakdown:

12-15 12%

Access Visits 2,893 New Clients 313 Resources Used 6,268 times 25% presented as primary homeless 50% presented as secondary homeless 25% presented as tertiary homeless

22-25 33%

Access Visits 5,993 New Clients 541 Resources Used 12,572 times 31% presented as primary homeless 36% presented as secondary homeless 28% presented as tertiary homeless

19-21 33%


12-15 3.5% 16-18 30.5%

Statistics 2013/2014 Financial Year


Homelessness Connect Homeless Connect is designed to give immediate access to a range of practical services in a client-focused environment for people who are experiencing the full spectrum of homelessness, from rough sleeping through to reliance on insecure accommodation such as couch surfing, boarding houses or caravan parks. Passages staff encouraged all the young people to come along on the day and access the vital services such as organising a birth certificate and official documentation, as well as practical help, including getting a haircut, new clothes, hot meal / food parcels as well as linking in with a variety of services depending on their individual needs.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Passages Race Day 2014 Each year, the Youth Affairs Council of WA collaborates with Propel Youth Arts WA to partner’ young emerging photographers with young homeless people. The young people are asked to take a series of photographs that captures their interpretation of ‘Home’. This unique exhibition of images gives an insight into the lives of the young people who participate and provides an opportunity for creative expression and freedom Passages Resources Centre participates in the exhibition and photos can be found online at

Next year’s Passages Race Day is 24th May 2014 at Belmont Park. Various sponsorship packages are available and we need your support! If you would like to participate, or assist with next year’s event by sponsoring a table, donating auction items or in any way please contact the St Vincent de Paul Society Events Coordinator, Stephanie on 9475 5414 or This great event has become an annual highlight for many of our supporters with sponsors and guests coming back year after year. All proceeds support Passages Northbridge.

Thank you & Acknowledgments Thank you to our Visiting Agencies over 2013 Allambee, Bridging the Gap, Centrelink Community Team, DAYS - Mission Australia (Drug & Alcohol Youth Service), PCEMML Street Doctor, Peel Mental Health, Peel Mobile Health Service, Peel Youth Medical Service, Police Liaison Officer, Street Connect – Anglicare WA, Street Law & Allens Linklaters,WA Substance Abusers Association, WASUA (Western Australia Substance Users Association), Youth Futures WA, Youthlink

Thank You to Our Corporate & Community Supporters over 2013 Northbridge: Allens Linklaters, Australian Red Cross – Save a Mate, Centrelink Call Centre Osborne Park, Chevron, City of Vincent, City of Vincent, Create Foundation, HD Hardrive, Inner City Mental Health Service, Lotterywest, Perth Inner City Youth Service, Perth Rotary Club, Quarry Health Centre, Roteract, Ruah Community Services, Sacred Heart College Sorrento, Shopfront, St Andrew’s Insurance, St Bartholomew’s House, St John of God Health Care, The RISE, Torres Butchers, Tranby – UnitingCare West, Vinnies Retail Centres & Depot, YMCA – StreetsYde, Youth Affairs Council of WA, Youth Focus. Peel: Alcoa Peach Funding, Anglicare – Y Shac, Australian Red Cross, Brumby’s Mandurah, Calvary Youth Service, Community First International, Department of Child Protection, Department of Education,

Alcoa Busy Bee Alcoa Australia staff supported Peel Passages again this year with their staff ‘Month of Service’. Staff from Alcoa took on the challenge of revitalising the garden at Passages Peel. An array of new vegetables and herbs were planted which will be used throughout summer during Healthy Cooking and BBQ’s. Eight staff gave up their Saturday morning to pave, weed, mulch, prune and plant the gardens of Passages. Thank you to the staff at Alcoa for thinking of the young people who visit Passages Peel and making the Passages Peel service more inviting for the young people who use it - everyone has been commenting on how beautiful the gardens are looking and the young people who use the service can’t wait for the first crop of veggies and herbs.

Disability Services Commission, Foodbank, Hepatitis WA, Lotterywest, Mandurah City Rotary Club, Mandurah District Rotary Club, Mandurah Soup Kitchen, Mission Australia – Reconnect, P & K Quality Meats, Palmerston – Community Drug Service, Pat Thomas House, Peel Mental Health Campus, Peel Youth Services, Rotary Club of Mandurah District, Rotary Club of Mandurah, The Great Moscow Circus, WA AIDS Council, Wanslea, West Aus Crisis, Youth Reach South.

Passages Board Northbridge David Reed OAM – Chairperson Jeff Leach Maurice Rousset John Meahan Mike Board Ashley Ladner Joanne Motteram Yvonne Pallier Eimer Boland

Passages Board Peel David Reed OAM – Chairperson Stewart Forrest Gary Brown Jim Mather John Perry Pat Schraven Yvonne Pallier Megan Bury

2013 Annual Report The St Vincent de Paul Society Annual Report is now available. To download a copy please go to

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year On behalf of the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Rotary Club of Perth and the Passages Northbridge and Passages Peel Board and Staff, we extend a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year to all our Passages benefactors, partners, sponsors and supporters. Thank you for your support over 2013 and we look forward to your ongoing support in 2014.

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Passages newsletter summer 2014