BASS Coast will have a dedicated space for young people, a YES Youth Hub, following months of pleas from the hub’s steering committee members to provide funding.
The YES Youth Hub will receive $41,900 from the Department of Health and Human Services to cover rent, insurance and utilities, and $30,000 from the Bass Coast Shire Council to fund the position of Youth Officer.
The hub will be a drop-in space for young people, offering recreational, educational and life skills programs, such as resume writing and learning how to start a small business.
Project coordinator Michael Feehan said the hub, at 180 Graham Street, Wonthaggi, will also act as a safe place for young people.
“The first year is ready to go, we’ve got the property and a bit of money for staff funding.
“We want to open at the start of July, but we’re not sure if it’s realistic. We are working as hard as we can to get it done by then.”
The YES Youth Hub will be a one-stop shop for young people to get access to services such as SalvoCare and Anglicare.
“We were stoked when we heard the news of the funding. We’ve had wins along the way, but this is a big one.
“It’ll give youth better access to services and a referral process.”
The hub will also feature a recreational space and office space, for young people to study or work on their ideas for their next business venture.
The decision comes after months of discussions between the hub’s steering committee members, particularly Dr Penny Mitchell, and councillors and shire officers.
Earlier this month, Dr Mitchell and Mr Feehan pleaded with councillors at a budget submission hearing to fund the YES Youth Hub, after it was excluded from the Draft Budget 2017-18.
Following changes to State Government policies and grants, extra money was made available in the Draft Budget which meant $30,000 could be allocated to the position of Youth Officer.
The $30,000 was approved at a council meeting on Wednesday, June 21, when councillors adopted the budget for 2017-18.