Kids Under Cover proudly supported by the IOOF Foundation
Kids Under Cover applied for a grant from the IOOF Foundation to build, or contribute to the build of, a relocatable two-bedroom studio in the backyard of the adult carer's home to safely accommodate young people at risk of homelessness for as long as needed.
The Kids Under Cover Studio Program is a very successful early intervention program that can have a life changing impact for young people at risk of homelessness. Kids Under Cover Studios provide high quality temporary accommodation for one or two young people up to 25 years of age in the backyard of the carer's main dwelling. The Studio provides a stable and nurturing environment to prevent the young person from leaving home prematurely without financial security or adequate life skills.
Fully relocatable one and two bedroom Studios are provided to young people at risk of homelessness, families at risk of break down due to cramped or intolerable living conditions, and foster carers seeking more room to accommodate babies, children or young people in their care. Studios have a lifespan of approximately 20 years and can be relocated several times.
IOOF Foundation – supporting families in need.
In January 2014, the IOOF Foundation kindly granted Kids Under Cover a contribution of $30,000 towards a build project in Victoria. The studio enabled by the IOOF Foundation funding has made a significant difference to this family. Diane* and Ray* are grandparents in their late 50s, and live in a modest three-bedroom home. Their daughter Sharon* is the mother to five children, with ages ranging from 5 to 17. The oldest children, Matthew* (17) and James* (16) had stayed with their grandparents on many occasions through their young lives, with domestic violence and drug use in their mother's home.
Just over three years ago it was mutually agreed that they would stay with their grandparents permanently; the difference in the two home environments was stark, with Diane and Ray providing a caring and loving environment for their grandsons, free of conflict. The three younger siblings remained with their mother after Sharon's relationship with their father ended, and were moved from home to home. Child protection were again about to intervene when Sharon began a custodial sentence. As a result, the three youngest children joined their two older siblings at their grandparent's home. In a relatively short time, the three-bedroom home has gone from housing two, to four, to seven.
"The two-bedroom Kids Under Cover studio made possible by IOOF Foundation funding"
While Mathew and James were happy to have their siblings safe with them, the overcrowding meant that normal day to day activities became more difficult, and tension began to rise. It was already hard enough for Mathew and James to understand why their mum and dad were different to other parents, and coping with their mother going to prison, coupled with their absent father dad showing up infrequently for short periods of time.
The situation placed Mathew and James as risk of leaving the home early to escape the overcrowding and increasing tension in the home, despite Diane and Ray's best efforts to maintain a harmonious home for their grandchildren. The pressure on space in the home rose further with news that Sharon would complete her sentence and would also reside in the home on her release. The boys were happy that mum would be coming to live with them as things have been better for them since they arrived; they hoped this would be the case for their mother too.
When the IOOF Foundation funding was confirmed, these funds contributed towards the cost of a studio build for this family. The additional space has instantly relieved the worst of the overcrowding in the existing home. It gives Matthew and James some much needed privacy, and provides a space for them to build their independence and responsibility while being able to maintain links with their family. The difference that the studio will provide this family will be marked. Importantly, the studio will allow the family to stay connected.