Lifewise’s Youth Housing Service provides housing and support in Auckland for youth who don’t have a safe or stable place to live. We prepare our rangatahi for adulthood with support at each step.
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Young people are at the heart of our service
This service is for 16-24-year-olds who are either homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or have a serious housing need. If you are in this situation or know of someone who is, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We walk alongside our rangatahi
Our youth live together at our communal residences in parts of Central, South, and West Auckland. Lifewise Youth Development Workers walk alongside each young person to create their own independent living plan.
Youth who feel ready to exit the service have ongoing support. This helps reinforce skills, encourage further success, and to ensure access to stable, long-term housing.
Independence is the goal
We encourage self-sufficiency by using the positive youth development approach. Resident youths receive opportunities to lead others, build critical skills and get involved in their communities.
We help residents set individual goals for independent living skills, education, employment, and securing permanent housing.
We grow self-responsibility
Residents pay 25% of their income in rent. This helps teach budgeting and gives them a rental payment history to help them find permanent housing when they graduate from the programme.
Residents take on responsibilities such as growing their own veggies in the communal garden. They’re often surprised and empowered by the satisfaction this brings.
Airdale Property Trust plays a unique role
Lifewise and Airedale Property Trust run our Youth Housing service together. They often provide the first official tenancy a young person has ever had.
Ongoing support is vital in supporting young people to sustain their tenancy until they move into permanent accommodation. We’ve designed our approach to equip people for future success. Principles include:
- Nurturing effective working relationships between youth and landlords
- Providing education around tenants’ rights and tenant responsibilities
- Separating the roles of property manager and social workers
Our service meets the unique needs of youth
Young people facing homelessness have very different needs to adults because the causes, course and consequences of their situations are so different.
We grow self-responsibility
Youth bring less experience of living independently. They may not have any experience dealing with landlords, paying their rent or managing a household. Therefore, we prioritise teaching rangatahi about things such as resident’s rights and tenant responsibilities.
Youth face particular barriers when they’re looking for accommodation. Some experience considerable discrimination when they’re seeking housing, and when they try to access services and employment while they are homeless.
Developmental changes affect the journey
Adolescents and young adults go through significant developmental changes including physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially. These change influence decision-making ability.
Age differences matter a lot. There is a huge difference in the needs and development of a 14-year-old compared to an 18-year-old or a 23-year-old.
Developmental changes affect relationships and organisational ability. For youth, dealing with landlords or managing a household budget can seem harder than it does for adults.
We’re leading change with innovation
Lifewise Trust is dedicated to preventing and ending rangatahi/youth homelessness. Through the support of the Vodafone Foundation and Auckland Council, we are reigniting the Youth Housing Collective: Manaaki Rangatahi. Our objectives are to:
- Co-ordinate youth housing and homeless services that reflect the needs and voices of rangatahi across Tāmaki Makaurau
- Respond to the over-representation of Rangatahi Māori in the homeless population
- Work together with the youth housing sector to provide strategic and developmental solutions to end youth homelessness
- Develop a community of practice to share, reflect and advance ideas of innovation and collective impact
To know more about Manaaki Rangatahi, check out the Facebook page or contact Lifewise’s Youth Strategy & Development Coordinator, Bianca Johanson.
Help us to make a difference
If you work within the housing or homeless sector with rangatahi in Tāmaki Makaurau and would like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you.
Please contact the Youth Strategy and Housing Coordinator Bianca Johanson to be added to our email invite list email@example.com.
If you have resources or ideas that can help end youth homelessness, please also contact us for a kōrero.