In the lead up to Christmas, staff from Real Insurance headed to ‘Oasis’ in the city to help The Salvation Army prepare Christmas presents for homeless young people living in the city. The Oasis Youth Support Network is The Salvation Army’s response to youth homelessness in Australia. The network offers more than 25 unique programs and services to homeless young people aged between 16–24 in Sydney.
A total of 104,676 Australians are considered to be homeless. One third, or about 32, 000, are homeless young people between the ages of 12–25 years.
Lisa from The Salvation Army states “People often don’t see the teenagers in need. The young kids are seen and the old people sleeping on the street, I think that when people see teenagers “on the streets” they’re just kids running amok or whatever. I don’t think it crosses people’s minds that they might be homeless, helpless and not just “delinquent kids” etc.
The Real Needs team helped to prepare gift hampers for these teenagers. The hampers were made up of contributions from the general public and companies and included soaps, make up, cricket bats, wallets etc. The Oasis team then gave hampers out to their outreach clients, transitionally housed clients and young people living on site.
Lisa from The Salvation Army said, “Christmas is a really hard time for our young people so we try to make it as normal and special as possible. Thank you so much for helping us out – it was a massive weight off our shoulders with everything we had to achieve before Christmas.”