Uniting Wimmera has received a $10,000 grant to trial a pilot program that will convert storage containers into tiny houses for homeless youth.
The organisation was awarded a Commbank Community Grant last month as part of a wider support for youth programs throughout Australia.
Uniting Wimmera’s tiny homes project uses storage containers as temporary housing for homeless teenagers aged 14-17.
The grant will be used to acquire the containers and transform them into safe and secure accommodation.
Uniting Wimmera executive officer Wendy Sturgess believes the project is an innovative way to tackle homelessness, in conjunction with wider support services.
“Young people will be involved in the design process of building their own tiny home, creating a sense of ownership so that it really feels like home for them,” Ms Sturgess said.
“The project will also offer a number of support services to help young people achieve stability, as well as build on their strengths and independent living skills.”
The tiny homes project is expected to improve independent living skills as well as provide work experience opportunities for young people in Wimmera.
Uniting Wimmera currently offers a number of youth support programs including outreach services, employment training, emergency relief, independent living workshops and mentoring.
“In the last year, 116 young people have accessed Uniting Wimmera’s services and of these 102 were at risk of or experiencing homelessness,” Ms Sturgess said.
“Receiving some funding for a project like this really will help change the lives of young people in our community.”
The tiny homes movement originated in the US and quickly spread to Europe as well as to countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Commbank Community Grant provides grants to 220 youth-focused organisations throughout Australia. All grants are awarded for a period of three years.