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YFS is launching a new Financial Counselling, Capability and Resilience Hub in January 2016.

Called YFS Connect, the hub will support vulnerable people with housing, tenancy and financial issues.

YFS Connect will build on the good work done to date by YFS’ Information, Referral and Assessment Service (IRAS) which in the last financial year responded to almost 9,000 requests for information and advice. Homelessness and financial crisis accounted for 58% and nearly 30% of these requests.

YFS CEO Cath Bartolo said YFS Connect brings together YFS’ local expertise with an integrated model of service that will help people move from crisis to financial resilience.

“We’re very pleased to offer a broader platform of services that will change people’s lives by building their skills and their ability to overcome crises,” she said.

The hub will be the first point of contact for new clients at YFS and will provide services like:

  • information about YFS services and other services in the community
  • referrals to YFS programs and other organisations
  • information about emergency accommodation
  • emergency relief
  • Financial Counselling (including Problem Gambling Financial Counselling)
  • Money Smart financial management and planning (including home energy related issues)
  • tenancy advice
  • NILS no-interest loans.

Ms Bartolo said YFS Connect would integrate Financial Counsellors, Money Smart case workers, emergency relief and NILS loans with related services including tenancy advice and homelessness support.

“This combination of services means we can deliver crisis responses, case work and counselling for clients experiencing financial stress,” she said.

“Money Smart workers will work together with Financial Counsellors to help people resolve their financial difficulties and increase their ability to make informed choices and manage their finances.”

Ms Bartolo said YFS Connect would deliver community education work to build awareness, skills and knowledge among the vulnerable people in the community to improve their financial capability and resilience.

“People can drop in to talk to us face to face, call us on the phone, email us or contact us via facebook” she said.

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 [email protected], or via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yfslogan/