Innisfail Youth and Family Care Inc.
In 1980 a visiting Social Worker identified the need for services for young people in Innisfail. Consequently, a public meeting was held and it was decided that a premises would be rented and one worker recruited. Initially, accommodation for young people was provided in private homes.
The first Youth Shelter was later opened in Alice Street, Innisfail with one live-in worker and accommodation was provided for males only.
The present Innisfail Youth Shelter, at 16 Danelle Street, Innisfail was opened in 1986 and continues to provide accommodation and support services for both male and female residents, despite substantial damage and temporary relocation following Cyclone Larry in March 2006. Following Cyclone Larry the Innisfail Youth Shelter was temporarily located at 40 Charles Street, Innisfail, a property provided by the Department of Housing and Public Works. The Shelter was located at this property from March 2006 to February 2007. The Innisfail Youth Shelter was then relocated back to its original home at 16 Danelle Street, Innisfail.
Accommodation is provided to a maximum of 8 clients at any one time and its aim is to provide safe, secure, short term emergency – crisis accommodation to young people, both male and female, aged between 12 and 21 years of age. Referrals can be made in person or by telephone, either by the young person or from various agencies and workers. The Innisfail Youth Shelter is staffed 24 hours per day.
Through the Youth Shelter and the organisations Youth Support Service clients are assisted with housing information, support, budgeting, living skills, legal issues and referral to other services. Clients are also supported in making sound decisions and acting responsibly toward themselves and others.
Innisfail Youth and Family Care also operates a number of other programs, one of which is the Long Term Community Housing Program. This program originated with Innisfail Youth and Family Care Inc putting in an application to the Department of Housing in 1990 to build a triplex on land provided by the Council. The triplex would comprise of 3 single bedroom units and act as a transition for young people from the Shelter to move into independent living. This building was completed in 1991 continues to provide long term accommodation to clients.
Innisfail Youth and Family Care Inc then also applied for additional Long Term Housing in 1998, this application was for 4 x 2 bedroom units for young people particularly young mothers as this was identified as being in need. The application resubmitted in 2002 and were successful in obtaining funding for two properties. Each property would comprise 2 x 2 bedroom units for young people. Unfortunately due to the increase in building costs only 3 of the 4 units was able to be built in 2003/2004. In 2010 an application was submitted to the Department of Communities for Nation Building funding to build the additional unit, this application was successful and the unit became operational in 2011.
The Department also built 10 x 2 bedroom units with the Nation Building funding at 129 Ernest Street, once this property was completed it was handed over to Innisfail Youth and Family Care Inc to manage. This property is also Long Term Housing and brings our Long Term Housing stock to 17 properties.
Wet Tropics Community Housing was officially formed in December 1991 and manages a number of properties leased from the private market. These properties are subsidised housing and are sublet to tenants at a rent determined by the Social Housing Rent Policy.