Lighthearted Spring/Summer 2010
Official newsletter from Lighthouse Foundation
A message from the CEO
We are delighted to bring you the Spring/Summer Lighthouse Foundation newsletter. In this newsletter we feature our Lighthouse home in Ballarat and reveal the impact made by the many people who have worked tirelessly to transform this house into a home.
The strategic plan charts for Lighthouse Foundation new ground and, by sharing our vision with others, we aim to work together as a community to achieve the overall goal of reducing youth homelessness.
We are well aware that Lighthouse cannot achieve its vision of ‘ending youth homelessness’ on its own. It requires partnerships with governments, other community- based organisations, corporates and individual members of the community. It is through this whole of community approach that we can hope to break the cycle of youth homelessness.
Kane Bowden CEO
Join us and make a difference!
How? We often get asked “How do I get involved with such a great cause as Lighthouse?” Come along to any of our events and introduce yourself to us. We are always eager to meet people who would like to be involved or support us in any way.
Alternatively, give us a call or email.
Making a difference to young people on the street
On any given night, 105,000 Australians have no place to call home. Over half of them are under the age of 24. Sara was one of these. At the age of twelve, Sara found herself homeless, wandering the city streets finding refuge in doorways and abandoned alleyways.
Fear. That was the word that summed up Sara’s first year living on the streets. Fear for her life, fear of those around her, fear of not knowing where her next meal would come from. At any given moment people would take money, food and anything that Sara had on her. She would go to sleep wearing her shoes because Sara was haunted by memories of being taken advantage of. The shoes were her only source of comfort as she knew that if the need arose, she could be on the run in a matter of seconds.
After enduring five years on the street, Sara moved to Lighthouse Foundation. Lighthouse provides a home and long term therapeutic care for homeless young people who come from a background of long term neglect and abuse. Lighthouse heals these young people through addressing the trauma associated with their past experiences as well as reconnecting these kids with the wider community.
Seven years on, Sara, now a woman, has learnt to laugh and learnt to love. She now has employment at Lighthouse and is completing her Certificate IV in Youth Work. Sara has a goal of one day being a carer at one of the Lighthouse Foundation homes so that she can give back to other young people what Lighthouse gave her. Sara attributes her successes to her experience at Lighthouse. She has said that Lighthouse has given her back the innocence that she once lost.
People who care
Lighthouse would not be the organisation it is today without its committed supporters. There are many varied and wonderful ways that these supporters are helping the organisation.
Through the support of United Way Australia, Genworth Financial has provided financial assistance to Lighthouse Foundation over the last two years. In 2009/10 financial year, Genworth Financial provided funding for the Safe Driver Training for at Risk Youth Program. Lack of access to transport for Lighthouse young people has been a major barrier
The contribution that Genworth Financial has made to Lighthouse extends beyond monetary donations. Recently, Genworth Financial staff volunteered their time at a working bee at Lighthouse’s Clayton home. Over the course of a day, staff engaged in window washing, weeding, mulching and hard rubbish collection. Others opted for a ‘cookathon’ resulting in a freezer full of prepared meals for young Clayton residents to enjoy over the coming months. Genworth Financial staff reported that the working bee was an extremely ‘rewarding’ experience; one that connected them more personally with Lighthouse’s cause.
Another valued corporate supporter of Lighthouse is South East Water. Through their generous financial support, new rainwater tanks have been installed at the Cheltenham and Boronia Lighthouse homes. South East Water has participated in volunteer working bees at the Cheltenham home. They will also be undertaking other projects to further support Lighthouse including water audits at some of the Lighthouse homes and repairs to the Boronia home.
The Good Guys Moorabbin has also chosen to support Lighthouse as part of their Local Giving Program. Aside from providing discounts on goods and donations at Christmas time, as part of their new program, funds raised by a token box system in The Good Guys Moorabbin store are being directed to The Lighthouse Adult Community Transition Program. This program was created in response to the needs of young people who have progressed to the stage where they are ready to begin preparation to transition to independent living.
This pilot program based at the Lighthouse home in Cheltenham, equips young people with the necessary skills to capably and confidently face the challenges of independent living. The program includes tailored programs to further develop the confidence, life skills and day-to-day knowledge to enable the young people to take responsibility for themselves, their living arrangements, employment, education and become contributing community members.
Ray Matchett, Proprietor, The Good Guys Moorabbin says, “Lighthouse Foundation recognises that homeless young people need not only a stable home but stable relationships and a need to feel valued and connected to the community. We are so delighted to be working with the Lighthouse Foundation on this program.”
This year marks the fourth anniversary of Lighthouse’s partnership with Honda Australia. Honda Australia contributed the greatest gift of all to our young people; a home. Thanks to their contribution of the Lighthouse home in Greenvale, Lighthouse has been able to fulfil its dream of extending our reach to homeless kids in Melbourne’s North West.
So far Honda’s generosity has enabled 15 young people to call Lighthouse ‘home’. We have also witnessed the journey of eight young people into independent living - a huge achievement given the trauma that many of these young people have endured and the lack of resources and support that they had upon arriving at Lighthouse. The Honda Australia home is a testament to what can be achieved when the community joins together to support our most vulnerable.
Lighthouse pays tribute to recently retired Honda Australia CEO Stuart Strickland for his compassion and support. We also thank other Honda staff for their support and contributions to the partnership.
Inside the William Angliss Lighthouse home in Ballarat
Spotlight on the Carer at Ballarat Home
Tim Bradley, Primary Carer at Ballarat describes working with Lighthouse as, ‘being part of a tribe. We all have the same goal and we are all moving in the same direction.’
Tim became a carer with Lighthouse a little over twelve months ago, following a string of unsatisfying jobs that spurred him to search for a way he could make a meaningful contribution to the community. Since coming to Lighthouse Tim hasn’t looked back. Tim feels honoured that the young people at the Ballarat home have let him in to both their home and their lives so wholeheartedly.
While a typical day in the life of a carer can be hectic with work and school drop offs, catching up with young people on outreach, attending soccer training with young people, cooking and cleaning, Tim believes uplifting moments occur when you would least expect. ‘For me, the highlights are the really simple things, like everyone sharing stories of their day around the dinner table or sitting down to play a board game as a family.’
Spotlight on Lighthouse Volunteer
Ballarat Community Committee Chair
ABN: 12 101 549 508