Rosies Youth Mission has expanded to the Sunshine Coast.
Caloundra will be the first major centre to benefit from a Rosies presence, with other locations and programs being considered along the Sunshine Coast.
The program in Caloundra started after a needs assessment was undertaken by Rosies in August. The assessment examined those who are at risk and the number of homeless young people on the Sunshine Coast.
“Thirty volunteers have come forward to join the Sunshine Coast Rosies community, bringing our numbers in Queensland to over 200 volunteers,” said Rosies Sunshine Coast co-ordinator Dominic Mapstone.
Residents in Caloundra had seen houses and even an old motel overtaken by squatters, making the homeless a very visible and controversial issue.
Between 1998 and 1999, 82 boys and three girls from the Sunshine Coast district were remanded in custody by the Maroochydore Children’s Court. Almost half of these teenagers were 15 years old or younger.
Across the Rosies branches in Brisbane, Cairns the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, the proportion of volunteers under the age of 25 varies from 80 per cent to 50 per cent.
But Rosies doesn’t exclusively care for disadvantaged adolescents. They cater to the needs of people in ages ranging from eight to 78.
Rosies will visit the Sunshine Coast teenagers while they are in detention and hopes the movement’s growing presence on the Sunshine Coast will help young people before they reach detention.
“You can only hope for their future, show them you are willing to believe in them and accept them where they are. The rest is up to them and a few things going their way,” said Mr Mapstone.
Donations are welcome to help maintain and expand this project. Cheques can be made payable to: Rosies Youth Mission Inc, PO Box 595, Caloundra, Qld 4551.