YFS Connect links locals with support

In just two months, YFS’ new “front door” service YFS Connect has responded to 1,768 requests for information and advice about issues ranging from homelessness to energy use.

YFS CEO Cath Bartolo said YFS Connect brings together information, advice and services for people experiencing homelessness, financial problems or other concerns.

“Our YFS Connect team includes Financial Counsellors and Money Smart case workers as well as people who know a lot about all the services available for people in Logan who need help,” she said.

Since YFS Connect opened in January 2016, staff have responded to 890 requests for help relating to homelessness or tenancy problems, providing advice and referrals to emergency accommodation or housing support services.

“We have been really pleased to see that our approach is working,” Ms Bartolo said.

“Last year we dealt with about 740 requests for help each month,” she said. “This year we’re averaging 880 contacts per month.”

“In the past two months, 85 people have worked with our Money Smart case workers to improve their budgets, understand their financial situations and work out payment plans for debts.”

“We have used emergency relief funds to help 47 people keep their tenancies or access safe emergency accommodation, while we’re working with them to prevent future crises,” Ms Bartolo said.

“In the same period, our financial counsellors have worked with 83 people to sort out more complex financial problems.”

YFS Connect is the first point of contact for YFS, which also provides support for Logan people with housing, parenting, substance use, legal and mental health concerns.

Ms Bartolo said feedback from users had been very positive, with people appreciating the opportunity to get information or help straight away rather than waiting for an appointment.

YFS Connect is located at 376 Kingston Road, Slacks Creek, with services also offered at Beaucare Beaudesert, Browns Plains, Crestmead and other locations at various times.

The hub is partly funded through a new grant from the Commonwealth Department of Social Services as well as funding from AGL.

YFS Connect is on 3826 1500 or yfsconnect@yfs.org.au, or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yfslogan/