Support for marginalised young people on Gold Coast streets has been boosted this week with the launch of DRUG ARM’s first Street Outreach Service (SOS) on the Coast.
The vehicle, which was donated by Bank of Queensland, will provide a vital mobile service for reaching out to local young people in need and distress.
Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy and DRUG ARM Executive Director Dennis Young were the first to operate the van, serving food and drinks to guests at the official launch.
Mr Young said his non-government organisation is honoured to work with Bank of Queensland in bringing this valuable service to the Gold Coast.
“Street Outreach Services offer a connection with homeless and at-risk youth experiencing harm associated with alcohol or other drug use, mental heath problems or the criminal justice system," Mr Young said.
“SOS provides support, information and referrals to other agencies for these kids – although it’s important to note that the Street Outreach Service responds to all those in distress, not just young people.
"The committed and trained volunteers that operate SOS provide hot and cold drinks, which create the opportunity to establish supportive contact in the hope that it will build a connection to further services and resources,” he said.
“Bank of Queensland’s support over the next year will ensure that we can keep the good work going.”
Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy said the new service was part of the Bank’s community investment strategy.
“As well as purchasing the van on behalf of DRUG ARM, the Bank has donated $25,000 to support its operations for the next twelve months,” Mr Liddy said.
“The Bank’s community investment strategy includes creating partnerships aimed at assisting young people in five major areas: education, health, welfare, the arts, and the environment.
"Our partnership with DRUG ARM is our major welfare partnership, and we are pleased to be able to support this service and help young people on the Gold Coast,” he said.
The service, which will operate Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm until early morning, is the 30th Street Outreach van throughout Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
For information or advice about alcohol and other drugs use, please phone DRUG ARM on 1300 656 800.