Providing a hand up
Co-founder and Managing Director of Society Melbourne Tenille Gilbert believes the approach is best described as an empowerment model.
“It’s about recognising that people who are in disadvantaged circumstances, don't just need a handout, they need a hand up,” she says.
“The training program is about supporting young people who may not have had a positive experience in employment before. We’re trying to provide a safe community space for them to acknowledge their value and realise they can be respected in the workplace.”
Co-Founder Levi Fernandez believes it also gives the general public an opportunity to “buy in” to social change.
“You can buy your coffee every day in the knowledge that you’re contributing to a number of young people on their way out of the homelessness cycle,” he says.
Importance of partnerships
From Tenille’s perspective, the idea of community is one of the most important components in young people's journey out of the homelessness cycle. Levi agrees: “youth homelessness is really complicated and it takes many different people doing many different things to truly address it.”
ANZ’s Head of Housing Strategy, Caryn Kakas, believes in the importance of partnerships between business, government and non-government organisations (NGOs) to deliver better housing outcomes for the community.
“When financial institutions are able to partner with the private sector and community, we have the best chance of collectively changing things for the better,” she says.
Much of Society Melbourne’s growth can be attributed to its partnerships. Home.Two, has been able to build on support from ANZ, The University of Melbourne, and an ongoing relationship with Launch Housing.
According to Caryn, ANZ is increasingly looking to support charities and social enterprises that align with its purpose and the societal issues it has chosen to focus on.
“Home.Two was a good fit for us as it delivers impact across financial wellbeing, access to housing and environmental sustainability,” she says.