Armidale Youth Homelessness Support Service

Armidale Youth Homelessness Support Services

Call 0419 567 641 – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Pathfinders Armidale Youth Refuge

Crisis accommodation is available for young people aged 16-19 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Armidale Youth Refuge provides short-term emergency accommodation for up to four young people at a time.

The youth refuge operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to accommodate crisis situations. Any young person referred to the refuge is assessed to determine whether it is the most appropriate place for them to stay and to ensure the safety of the young people already residing at the refuge.

The Armidale Youth Refuge provides an environment where young people can work toward their goals of independent living. They are provided with support to learn living skills such as cleaning, meal preparation and nutrition, personal care, money management, routine setting, employment, education and tenancy management.

Young people residing at the refuge also have obligations that reflect those in the real world. Residents are required to pay rent, assist with daily chores of cooking, cleaning and yard maintenance, and engage in education and training to help them obtain employment.

Residents share many communal areas but also have their own private space onsite. Many of the young people staying at the refuge call it their home and think of the staff and other residents as their family.

When young people present with complex issues that affect their ability to work towards their goals, refuge staff deliver client-centred support that incorporates trauma-informed practices. The refuge may also engage local service providers and qualified professionals to deliver the specialised supports needed. This assists young people to start their journey in addressing barriers of mental health, trauma, alcohol and drug use, health problems, legal issues and financial hardship.

Pathfinders Youth Homelessness Outreach Support Service

The Armidale Youth Homelessness Support Service (AYHSS) provides an outreach service to young people aged 16-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and require additional support to improve their living circumstances or overcome barriers that may be affecting their ability to find a safe place to stay.

If a young person presents needing crisis accommodation and there are no options to access a youth refuge or temporary accommodation, AYHSS will provide emergency accommodation options if the young person is deemed eligible. The outreach service will assess each referred young person to identify accommodation and housing options that best suits them.

Much like the Armidale Youth Refuge, the AYHSS Outreach Support Service provides support for young people to learn the living skills they need to live independently. When young people reach their goals, we can assist their transition into a supported accommodation setting or a tenancy through social housing or a private rental.

Transitional properties

AYHSS works in partnership with Homes North to facilitate access to transitional properties for young people. These properties offer a level of independent living whilst being supported by the AYHSS Outreach Support Service.

Transitional properties offer a shared living environment and are managed by Homes North. AYHSS conducts regular property inspections to ensure adequate living skills and property care are maintained, along with providing support for a young person’s personal barriers. This encourages a successful tenancy before the young person moves towards living a fully independent life.

AYHSS outreach support workers are specifically trained to assist young people with their journey. The areas they provide support in include anger management techniques, healthy relationships and dealing with bullying situations. Support can be delivered in a group setting or individually, depending on the need.

Other AYHSS activities

The Armidale Youth Homelessness Support Service (AYHSS) delivers activities at local schools and in the community that can support young people struggling with self-esteem, personal wellbeing and communication barriers. These activities are fun and engaging so that young people feel comfortable to participate whilst learning new skills.

Assistance is also provided to homeless young people aged 12-15 to access the Homeless Youth Assistance Program (HYAP) through Samaritans. If a young person is assessed as eligible for HYAP, AYHSS will work closely with Samaritans to provide early intervention supports for the best outcomes.

The program provides support in overcoming barriers of education, mental health, drug and alcohol use, trauma, family relationships and involvement with the justice system. HYAP also deliver counselling and family mediation services by trained staff.

The AYHSS team supports young people by:

  • helping them engage in education and employment
  • facilitating access to financial support, including Centrelink
  • referring them to health, mental health and wellbeing programs
  • providing advice and guidance when dealing with unhealthy relationships, bullying and anger management issues
  • teaching them living skills, including budgeting and how to maintain a tenancy
  • guiding them through rental and social housing applications, and
  • assisting them to access temporary accommodation.

Community workshops

Pathfinders’ youth homelessness support workers facilitate a range of support programs designed for young people. They can provide group sessions to students within a school setting, community groups or organisations.

Our programs relate to:

  • social and emotional wellbeing
  • anger management
  • bullying
  • healthy relationships, and
  • living skills.

All programs are run over four to six weeks and can be facilitated with one or two staff members. If you would like to learn more or book a workshop, send an email to

Workshop at Tilbuster Station
Pathfinders pumpkin run

Being involved in Pathfinders Pumpkin Run

Young people engaged with the services provided by our Youth Homelessness Support Services have the opportunity to participate annually in Pathfinders Pumpkin Run.

The Pathfinders Pumpkin Run is an annual activity for all young people who are part of Pathfinders’ programs and services.

The activity starts in December when young people spend a day at Tilbuster Station planting pumpkin seeds. Over a seven-month period, the youths revisit the farm and take part in a range of agricultural activities to nurture the pumpkins while they grow. Once the pumpkins have grown to a mature size, they are harvested and donated to local soup kitchens, church groups and charities that support vulnerable families in need.

In July 2022, the Pathfinders Pumpkin Run team (consisting of youth, staff and community volunteers) delivered over nine tonnes of pumpkins to organisations in Taree, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Ballina and Lismore.

Community events and important dates

  • April – Youth Week and Armidale Autumn Festival
  • May – Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • July – NAIDOC Week
  • August – National Homelessness Week
  • September – World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day

Program Contacts

Armidale Youth Refuge & Outreach Service

156 Allingham Street,
Armidale NSW 2350

Available 24 hours, 7 days a week

Phone: 0419 567 641

Youth Support Helplines

Kids Helpline : 1800 55 1800

Kids Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (toll free), and provides generalist crisis counselling, information and referral services.

Phone: 1800 55 1800

eheadspace : 1800 650 890

eheadspace is an online and phone support service for young people aged 12-25. It covers a wide range of topics and issues affecting mental health.

Phone: 1800 650 890 (9am to 1am, Mon-Sun)
Webchat: (9am to 11pm, Mon-Sun)

Qlife : 1800 184 527

QLife provides anonymous peer support and referral services for people who identify as LGBTIQA+.

Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight, Mon-Sun)
Webchat: (3pm to midnight, Mon-Sun)

ReachOut Australia

ReachOut Australia is for young people aged 18-25 who are seeking resources about mental health, bullying, relationships, study, work and money.

Youth Hotline : 1800 10 18 10

Youth Hotline – Legal Aid NSW provides legal advice and information to young people under 18.

Phone: 1800 10 18 10 (9am to midnight, Mon-Thur and 24/7 Fri-Sun)

Homelessness Emergency Contacts

Link2Home : 1800 152 152

Link2Home is a statewide telephone service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing homelessness information, assessments and referrals for people in a state of crisis with nowhere safe to stay.

Phone: 1800 152 152

Lifeline : 13 11 14

Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (toll free from mobiles), and provides generalist crisis counselling, information and referral services. They also provide a crisis SMS text service if this is the preferred method of communication.

Phone: 13 11 14
SMS text service: 0477 13 11 44 (12pm to 12am, Mon-Sun)


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