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Now in his early 20s, Tyler* had been living with his grandparents in kinship care since he was 18 years old. Unfortunately, like many young people with casual hospitality roles, Tyler lost his job in 2020 due to COVID-19 after only working for a few months. This was a significant knock to Tyler’s confidence and put stress on his living situation with his grandparents.

Tyler first heard about Berry Street’s Going Out And Living Successfully (GOALS) program through a member of a local community program, who thought it would be a good fit for Tyler and give him the space and opportunity to become more independent. Tyler agreed, and once he was accepted into the program, he moved into one of the units in August 2020.

GOALS supports young people to develop valuable life skills

Our GOALS program in Gippsland provides support and accommodation for young people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or about to leave out-of-home care.

The program helps young people who have experienced disadvantage to develop the skills and approach they need to live independently. Some of the young people are studying and some are working part or full time. With this focus on education and employment, young people stay in the program for up to 2 years while learning valuable life skills.

Tyler takes pride is his new home

As soon as he moved into GOALS, Tyler took pride in his unit and the communal space – he knew he could now call this home. Tyler can regularly be found mopping the floors or tidying the kitchen. He also prefers it if visitors and case managers take their shoes off at the door.

One of the key skills that young people have been learning is how to create healthy meals on a budget. Working together, staff and the young people have made a recipe book of nutritious meals for $3 or less per meal. Not only does this teach cooking skills, but also the importance of good nutrition and budgeting.

Tyler has really enjoyed creating delicious meals for the other GOALS residents and staff.

It’s a great program that’s helped me in a lot of ways. I came here with not much and needed the opportunity to grow independently to find myself as an adult.


Taking steps to become independent

A short time after moving into the unit, Tyler got a part-time job with the support of the GOALS team. Tyler also got his learner driver permit and is participating in the L2P Program with Berry Street, which matches young people with driving mentors from the community so that young people can gain the 120 hours of driving experience needed to get their P plates.

Once he started working, Tyler began saving up and has bought a second-hand car with his savings! He’s very eager to get his driver’s licence because this would give him even more independence: he’d be able to drive himself to work and run errands.

Tyler is a great role model for other young people in the program. He shows so much drive and commitment towards everything he puts his mind to. Tyler also demonstrates how support from programs like GOALS allow young people to feel safe and supported, enabling them to thrive.

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons. In order to protect the identity of the children, young people and families we work with, we only use images of models and volunteers. The people pictured in our stories are not connected to the case study presented.