Pathfinders have been successful in their grant application for funding through Leadlease FutureSteps Community Grant Program to assist with upgrading and modification of a former local accommodation facility. The property was purchased by Pathfinders last year and is on the outskirts Armidale in regional NSW.
Pathfinders purchased the property with the intention to redevelop it to the required standards to support the delivery of the NSW Governments Supported Independent Living Program (SIL). The program is aimed at preparing and supporting young people in making smooth transitions from Out-of-Home Care to independent living, self-reliance, and adulthood.
The funding provided by Lendlease’s FutureSteps program will support Pathfinders to build a new combined stand-alone kitchen, dining, and recreational lounge area as well as alterations to support disability access to one of the units. The installation of the new kitchen, dining and recreational lounge area will enable the service to meet the requirement to deliver SIL for 10-13 young people in Out-of-Home Care aged between 16 and 17 years of age at entry. These are young people who are in care or transitioning from care to live independently and are assessed by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) as having the capacity to live independently after a period of tailored support.
Each young person will live at the facility learning practical life skills by managing rent, bills, income, education, and employment while living independently. The upgraded facility will offer 10 units, one 3-bedroom residence and 1 fully self-contained unit. Young people in the program are provided with their own unit and a caseworker who will work alongside the young person to develop living skills in one-on-one sessions.
Grant funding received from Lendlease’s FutureSteps program is the first to be provided to a regional project in NSW. The FutureSteps Open Grant Program is administered by Community Enterprise Foundation. FutureSteps works with established charities and community organisations to deliver shelter and housing projects, including support services. Pathfinders is grateful for FutureSteps financial assistance and their investment in long-term support.