Youth Homelessness in the Murraylands get a Helping Hand


BankSA Foundation have donated $67,000 to Habitat for Humanity and the Sammy D Foundation


Close to 200 young people are homeless or at risk of being homeless in the Murraylands region each day.

Recognising the increased needs of at-risk youth, BankSA Foundation have granted more than $67,000 to Habitat for Humanity and the Sammy D Foundation which are both focused on helping young people in need.

$25,000 was also donated to's Studio Purpose project. Murrayland's homelessness service manager, Thanuja Hiripitiyage said rising rental prices are a factor in young people struggling to find stability.

"Sadly, the shortage of available emergency and public housing, together with rising prices for private rentals, have left many youths priced out of affordable housing," Ms Hiripitiyage said.

"This has left some young people couch surfing, staying with friends or family, but not having any stability or security from which to build a better future.

"Purpose built accommodation, together with the support provided by and our Studio Purpose project, will provide a vital new option in Murray Bridge to accommodate young people and help them develop independence."

BankSA Foundation chairman, David Firth, said the grants would help provide support services for young people at a critical time in their lives.

"Young people can be particularly vulnerable when faced with challenges, and over the past year many have struggled to cope as the way we live has changed," Mr Firth said.

"BankSA Foundation recognises that young people need support in both the school environment and when living in the community, particularly with higher youth unemployment rates against a backdrop of unpredictability and change.

"If we can help by providing funding for much-needed services, it can create clearer pathways and brighter futures.

"By supporting projects such as Habitat for Humanity's Studio Purpose, we'll also see a flow-on effect in the Murraylands community through increased work for trades, the purchase of building materials and overall community participation from volunteers donating time to help."

Executive director for Habitat for Humanity, Ben Sarre said the split donation from the Bank SA Foundation will help the charity immensely.

"We received $25,000 and we'll be using those funds directly in the construction phase of Studio Purpose," Sarre said.

"We're a charity, but also a licensed builder. Our role is to manage the upfront refurbishment of the units, which has been an unfunded part of the project.

"In order to make sure we can pay for the construction phase we use fundraising.

"There's materials, trade labour, and local contractors that we're engaged in, so that is where the $25,000 Bank SA Foundation donation will go toward."

If there is any young person struggling at the moment, there is help for you in the Murraylands.

"Our doors are always open to all country South Australians who may find themselves in a vulnerable situation and need assistance," Ms Hiripitiyage said.

"We provide homelessness, emergency relief, financial counselling and other services to assist and services tailored specifically to the needs of young people.

"Anyone can visit our office at 29 Bridge Street to speak to our welcoming staff or call us on 1300 ACCARE (1300 222 273)."