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Real Estate Sleep Out Youth Off the Streets Damien Cooley

with Damien Cooley

An astounding 42% of the homeless population is people under the age of 25 with domestic and family violence being the most common reason for youth homelessness.

Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets is a non-denominational community organisation and amongst many things, they take kids off the streets who suffer from abuse, neglect and drug dependency and put a roof over their head. They provide them with food, clothes, an education and a second chance at a better future.

Damien Cooley, Director of Cooley Auctions, has had a long association with Father Chris Riley and Youth Off The Streets. Not only has he been personally involved with many of their programs but also sits on the development committee. Striving to make a difference, Damien has launched the first Real Estate Sleep Out, bringing the Real Estate Industry together to sleep out on Bondi Beach to raise awareness and funds for Youth Off The Streets.

Homelessness is a big concern to Youth Off The Streets and the case of Andrew* highlights the important difference the organisation can make. When Youth Off The Streets first met Andrew, he desperately needed a safe place to live. For homeless kids, crisis accommodation is a priority; the Don Bosco Home is designed to keep them off the cold, wet and violent streets of Sydney.

Andrew was given a roof over his head and access to youth workers and counselors at Don Bosco Home. He was able to deal with his problems in a supportive and caring environment. After a few months, Andrew was determined to turn his life around. He’d had enough of living rough and wanted an education. He decided to return to school and earn his HSC.

Andrew entered one of Youth Off The Streets’ high schools, Key College, and set on a path to achieve his dreams. With the help of Youth Off The Streets, Andrew finished his HSC, two hospitality courses, a graphic design course, and a TAFE Certificate I in office skills. When he left Key College, he was offered a traineeship in administration and office management. Andrew finished his traineeship and is still living independently. Youth Off The Streets keeps in touch with Andrew through the Aftercare service and is supporting Andrew to find full-time work.

There are still thousands of cases like Andrew’s that desperately need a safe place and roof over their head. We need your help.

Register online and individually raise money through peers, friends and family to sleep out on Bondi Beach.

www.everydayhero.com.au/event/RealEstateSleepOut

 

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