YFS’ key role in our community has never been more evident than in 2019-20. Throughout the year, we invested in our community through innovative initiatives and local partnerships. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we adapted swiftly to meet local needs, support Logan people and provide leadership where needed.
YFS has been backing vulnerable people in the Logan community to overcome adversity and to thrive for more than 35 years. Nowadays, we extend that reach to the Scenic Rim and Redlands as well.
At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, we pivoted very quickly to meet urgent needs in our community, along with our colleagues from local, state and federal government and other community organisations. We established the Logan Response Hotline to provide food, essentials and medication to people left without funds or access to basics. We ramped up our rapid-housing response to ensure people were not on the streets. Substation33 refurbished hundreds of computers so students could learn from home. Our Spark service helped people left with no income to get jobs fast. And we adapted our service delivery across the board to maintain our support for vulnerable people.
The YFS Board’s investments in capacity building stood us in good stead, ensuring we were well-equipped to operate safely and effectively in a fast-changing environment.
Despite the pandemic, we continued throughout the year to take a lead on community-driven initiatives including violence prevention, social enterprise development and advocacy.
For example, we launched Men4Respect, building on our R4Respect youth violence prevention initiative, and we pursued innovative research partnerships for our e-waste business Substation33. We implemented our innovative Thriving Families Project, bringing together family coaches and a housing specialist in an integrated team to help homeless families move from crisis to thriving. A positive interim evaluation validated this approach, resulting in further investment from the Board as we seek ongoing funding for this initiative.
This report documents our achievements and impact in extraordinary times. It tells the stories behind our pursuit of the strategic intentions in our 2018-21 strategic plan. We continued to improve our services, capacity, sustainability and positioning.
YFS’ self-funded Thriving Families demonstration project backed families like Sharla-Kim and baby Ezra to find stable housing and pursue their goals for a good life.
Many people contributed to this work in 2019-20, including our Board, managers, staff and volunteers, our government partners and the many organisations and individuals who make up our vibrant community. We farewelled two long-standing Board members during 2019-20: former chair Jennifer le Savéant and director Michael Lowe. Both made very significant contributions to the Board, the organisation and the community through their service.
We look forward to continuing to back our community together in 2020-21.
Cath Bartolo (CEO) Peter Goldsworthy (Chair)