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The Hunter Foyer Project

Brad Webb, Chair
Youth Homelessness in NSW
• 28,191 people experiencing homelessness in NSW (40.8 per
• 3,632 children under 12 (12.9%)
• 2,642 children 12-18 (9.4%)
• 4,277 youth 19-24 (15.2%)
Source: Homelessness NSW
Youth Homelessness in the Hunter
• Population of Hunter Valley (excl. Newcastle) PLUS Newcastle and
Lake Macquarie = 632,938 (2014)
Source: ABS
• Estimated number of people experience homelessness = 2,582
(40.8 per 10,000)
• Estimated number of youth experiencing homelessness = 636
• 12-18 = 243 (9.4%)
• 19-24 = 393 (15.2%)
Youth Homelessness is a NSW Priority
• Premier’s Priorities
• Reducing youth homelessness

• State Priorities
• Creating sustainable social housing
• Boosting apprenticeships
• Delivering strong budgets
What is a Foyer?
• Integrated access to:
• Affordable housing
• Support and security
• Education and training
• Work experience and employment pathways

• Additional benefits including:
• Independent living skills
• Stable health and wellbeing
• Social connectedness
• Mentoring and support networks
The history of Youth Foyers
• Originated in France in the late 1800s
• Established in the UK in 1992
• First established in Australia in 2001 (Western Sydney and
• Australian Foyer Foundation established in 2008
• Approximately 14 Foyers or Foyer-type services in all Australian
states and territories, except Tasmania and NT
The 5 core features of Youth Foyers
1. A ‘deal’
2. Home first
3. Promotes talents and aspirations
4. Provides networks and opportunities
5. Community resources
The impact of Youth Foyers
• Primary aims:
• Reduce youth homelessness
• Increase participation in education
• Increase participation in employment

• ≈ 75% of Foyer residents make a successful transition
Australian impact data (June 2013)
Young people housed 273
Non-housed clients assisted / supported 708
Training sessions provided e.g. life skills, 1582
Number of clients successfully 273
completing service
Number of clients who left the program early due to 17
Percentage of ex-residents in (recognised and 81%
ongoing) permanent housing
Percentage of ex residents in education or 52%
The evidence base for Youth Foyers
• Quality of current evidence: Levin, Borlagdan, Mallett, and Ben (2015)
• Encouraging conclusions from the 15 studies (UK, Australia, US)
• However, the Foyer model requires more rigorous research and
evaluation if it is to impact policy
• Brotherhood of St Laurence has commissioned a 3-year longitudinal
study on the Education First Youth Foyer at Holmesglen (Victoria)
• Foyer Oxford (WA) has commissioned KPMG to undertake a four year
evaluation using the Results Based Accountability (RBA) framework
Financing Youth Foyers
• No clear funding pathways
• Capital funding
• Operating costs
• Social Benefit Bonds (Social Impact Bonds)
• Financial Analysis of Foyer and Foyer-like Youth Housing Models
(June 2013)
The Foyer Foundation
• Supports the development of:
• Foyers within a local (Australian) context
• A network of high quality, Australian and New Zealand Foyers

• The Foundation’s role is to:
• Promote Foyers and the Foyer model, particularly as a policy issue
• Support development of Foyers
• Licence operators
• Advocate for young people
Hunter Foyer Project - History
• Established Hunter Youth 2020 in 2009
• Evaluated models and explored partnerships
• Identified consortium partners and undertook consultation
• Executed a Statement of Common Purpose in May 2013

The purpose of the Statement is to establish an enduring and productive
relationship between our organisations that uses our collective capacity to
optimise outcomes for the development of a Hunter Foyer Project.
Why Foyer?
• Hunter Youth 2020 was attracted to Foyer because it:
• Delivers outcomes for young people
• Breaks the cycle of disadvantage
• Does not generate long term dependency
• Builds capacity and resilience in young people – a hand up, not a hand out
• Has a growing evidence base around impact and sustainability
• Is supported by a national network through the Foyer Foundation
• Requires partnership, which resonates with our ethos as a ‘broker-profiler-
The Hunter Foyer Project consortium
1. Hunter Youth 2020
2. Compass Housing
3. Hunter TAFE
4. Life Without Barriers
5. Rotary Club of Charlestown
Hunter Foyer Project - Achievements
• Benchmarked Foyers in Australia and conducted extensive international
• Engaged early with the Australian Foyer Foundation
• Developed a robust business case and financial analysis of the Hunter
Foyer Project
• Established consultative relationships with NSW Department of Premier
and Cabinet, NSW Department of Family and Community Services, NSW
Office for Social Impact Investment, NSW TAFE, Social Ventures Australia,
Yfoundations, Hunter Development Corporate, local councils and other
NSW Foyers
Hunter Foyer Project – Achievements
• Developed (and maintained) a program of advocacy with NSW and
Federal MPs, relevant Ministers, and government departments
• Built additional support and awareness with philanthropists,
potential corporate supporters, and the Hunter community
• Identified additional consortium partners and began a process of
due diligence
• Maintained an active program of evidence evaluation and best
practice benchmarking
• Identified funding opportunities and submitted funding proposals
Hunter Foyer Project – Strategic Goals
• Strengthening the business case for a ‘traditional’ Foyer
• Seeking additional consortium partners who could enhance the
Hunter Foyer Project
• Building collaborative partnerships with government, other Foyers,
peak bodies, funders, and the Australian Foyer Foundation
• Executing a targeted advocacy program with government and policy
makers, particularly around awareness and policy
• Ensuring our work contributes to the evidence base for Foyers
Further Information
• Brad Webb, Chair – Hunter Foyer Project
• 0410 687566

• Hunter Foyer Project

• Australian Foyer Foundation