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How Horizon House changes young lives

11 August 2022 Blog
We take a look at why providing care and support to young people through our Horizon Houses is so important to St John of Health Care as a Catholic not-for-profit organisation.

According to Homelessness Australia, of the more than 116,000 homeless people in our country, a staggering 38 per cent are aged 12 to 24.

St John of God Horizon House helps prevent vulnerable young people aged 16 to 22 from entering the cycle of homelessness by providing free stable accommodation, care and support while they access education, training and/or employment opportunities.

Horizon House is an excellent example of St John of God Health Care’s Mission and Values in action, as a percentage of eligible revenue from our hospitals is used to fund this valuable service at 12 community locations in WA and Victoria.

How does Horizon House support young people?

Our program is unique because it provides a ‘whole person’, early intervention approach that aims not only to build a young person’s capacity to achieve and maintain safe, permanent accommodation, but also reconnect with their community and participate in employment, training and education opportunities.

The goals our young people are working towards may include completing skills training, gaining employment, building and connecting with social networks and, where appropriate, reconnecting with family.

As part of the program, they also learn essential skills such as cooking, cleaning, learning to drive and personal budgeting that they will need in order to live independently.

Many of the young people in our program have faced multiple challenges such as family conflict, physical or mental abuse, disrupted education, substance abuse and unemployment.

Our caregivers help connect them with appropriate community-based support and clinical services, and provide trauma-informed support and case management.

What happens when a young person enters Horizon House?

When a young person enters the Horizon House program, they move into their own bedroom in a family-style home with four or five of their peers, where there is a qualified caregiver on-site 24/7.

Once they are ready, they are able to transition through our gradual, tiered step-down process, which sees them access regular support from our caregivers while they’re living semi-independently, and then on to live independently with regular check-ins.

What additional support is offered? 

Horizon House also provides specialist support for:

  • Vulnerable young mothers and their babies through the Horizon House Young Mother and Baby Program, currently available in Perth and Bendigo
  • Young Aboriginal men living in Broome, WA
Naomi Boyd
Naomi Boyd - Director Homelessness and Support Services
Naomi Boyd is Director Homelessness and Support Services at St John of God Social Outreach. In this role, Naomi leads our Casa Venegas and Horizon House services. A mental health nurse with postgraduate qualifications in healthcare leadership and management, Naomi has spent two decades working in the sector. She is passionate about recovery and trauma informed care, which are the foundation of the Casa Venegas and Horizon House services.
Naomi Boyd
Naomi Boyd Director Homelessness and Support Services