Castle is king developing our city \ A Tasmanian micro-dwelling is a shelter pioneer, writes KIRSTY MANNING-WILCOX.
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30 The weekly review \ november 29, 2012
hen The Castle’s Dale Kerrigan norm and children stay at home longer for uttered, “A man’s home education,” Legge says. is his castle”, it resonated “Many families face difficulties – financial, across Australia. spacial and how to manage different family Five years ago, Youth Futures decided to rules under one roof. So we started thinking take that dictate one step further, deciding … well, if teenagers had a little cabin of their “every man needs a castle” and set out to own to go to, that would stop them coming develop portable, affordable and beautiful into a shelter. It also means youth do not have housing to act as crisis accommodation. to move from their school, social and support Thus The Castle micro-dwelling was born. network in their area and the crisis is not Youth Futures is a Launceston-based compounded by loneliness and isolation. not-for-profit organisation that began “We have a woman living in one offering crisis accommodation to model in a remote area, which means It can be young men. she does not need to leave her taken to While crisis accommodation support network in that region.” sites where it remains a core focus, it has Before the design phase started, is most expanded to look after all youth, Youth Futures went to all the high as well as women and families, in schools in Launceston and asked needed need of help. teenagers what they wanted in their As the program developed, Youth own space. Interestingly, the placement Futures put in place social scaffolding to of The Castle in a suburban backyard was support young people in the community, crucial for the students. such as workplace training opportunities and “We said, ‘Here’s the house, where do a job placement program. you want to put it’?” Legge says. “They all The Castle is a key part of the program. wanted it right by the back door, or Client services manager Lisa Legge connected by a breezeway.” said that Youth Futures wanted to In short, they wanted a space of their own, work at a preventative level and offer yet still connected to their family. support to families. Youth Futures chief executive Harry The Castle can be taken to a site where it is Tams approached the University of most needed. Tasmania’s School of Architecture to come “These days, blended families are the up with a design.
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