The Case Workers at SYSS get a great deal of satisfaction seeing a young person flourish after being in our program. Mid-year, 19yo Matt* from Ulladulla was referred to our service because his home was overcrowded, which in turn lead him to at times couch surf.

When Matt arrived he was homeless, unemployed, had no family or peer support in the Nowra area, and had no source of income. As well as this, Matt did not have strong literacy skills which lead him to feel he had limited workplace opportunities.

Despite Matt having several challenges, he was very sociable & friendly with other young people and staff at SYSS. Matt was engaged with his caseworker to develop a succinct case plan. He was supported to receive income from Centrelink, Job agencies, and navigate unfamiliar referral pathways with his caseworker to services such as Aboriginal Medical Service, Services Our Way (FACS) and more. Through the rapport and trust built between Caseworker and client, Matt began to be more open to accessing services that he had not before.

It was evident to SYSS staff that Matt had very good verbal communication skills, was independent, and had good daily living skills such as hygiene, cleanliness and cooking skills. Matt proved to be good role model for other service users at SYSS, and at times was an informal mentor to the younger males coming through.

Matt was unsuccessful finding work with his employment service provider, which left him feeling frustrated. With the support of SYSS he printed off several copies of his resume, and went around the Bomaderry industrial area meeting managers and owners of local companies. From this, Matt scored himself an interview at an engineering site in Bomaderry, and furthermore was successful at securing the position.

Through budgeting and a lot of hard work, Matt was able to save enough money to put forward for bond, and was offered a rental room at SYSS Transitional Property in North Nowra. Matt has been living at Paruna Place for the last 4months, supported by SYSS via our Outreach Program which offers case management as needed or requested by Matt. Over the last month, Matt and his partner have been looking for their own rental property in the Nowra area. With the support of his rental history at both Paruna and SYSS backing up his application, as well as his ability to successfully maintain his employment, Matt has been approved on his next rental home.

Going forward, we are hoping to assist Matt with achieving his Provisional Drivers Licence. Like many of the young people we work with, Matt has not had any person in his life previous to help him with getting experience and driving hours to achieve this. SYSS hopes to engage Matt with CareSouth’s Learning Driver Program which we hope to commence soon from sponsorship from our local 723 Navy Squadron.

*Name has been changed