Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Work starts on $2.9million Fremantle accommodation for homeless youth

    9/06/2008 12:00 AM

    A new accommodation facility that will help homeless young people with a mental illness get back on their feet, has taken a step forward with construction starting on the new 16-bed facility.


    Health Minister Jim McGinty said the $2.9million facility would help break the cycle of mental illness and homelessness among young people.


    “This facility will provide short-term, supported accommodation for up to 16 homeless young people aged 17 to 22 years with a mental health problem," Mr McGinty said.


    “It is estimated that up to 82 per cent of young homeless people have a mental illness.


    “These young people need a roof over their heads and support to help them to move into permanent housing and this service will provide that.


    “By taking care of the basics, such as food and shelter, residents will have the opportunity to access support for their illness as well as education, training and employment - activities which will help them to move into permanent housing.”


    Clinical support for residents will be provided by the State-funded youth mental health service YouthReach South and the new federally-funded Fremantle headspace program.


    Fremantle headspace Project Officer Rebecca Walker said the Fremantle headspace program would work closely with the new accommodation facility.


    “Mental illness is the number one health issue affecting young people in Australia today. Research shows that homeless young people have mental illnesses at a higher rate than the general youth population,” Ms Walker said.


    The new Fremantle facility is part of the State Government’s $608million Mental Health Strategy to boost care in Western Australia and create 400 more community supported accommodation places for people with a mental illness.


    Located on Alma Street, it will include private accommodation, communal areas, counselling and staff facilities, and has been designed to complement existing heritage homes in the area.


    BGC Construction has been appointed as the builder and construction is due to be completed in November 2009.


    Tenders for a not-for-profit, non-Government operator for the facility will be called early next year.


    Minister's office - 9422 3000