Business collaboration a path to opportunities for young homeless

Business collaboration a path to opportunities for young homeless

Path 2 Change is using national Homeless Persons Week (1-8 August 2016) to highlight the importance and value of corporate partnerships with organisations such as theirs.

Executive Manager of Path 2 Change, Jen O’Sullivan, is passionate about changing the lives of young homeless people locally and believes that collaboration as a business community is the key.

“It is estimated that 42% of reported homeless people are under 24 years of age,” Jen said.

“Path 2 Change works one on one to enable young people to overcome their barriers, access training and work, securing a stable future and breaking the cycles that contribute to homelessness. This individualised support is producing long term success in job placements to date, but more local work experience and employment opportunities are needed.”

A recent partnering with Job Centre Australia has enabled homeless young people with disabilities including mental health issues, to access the successful Golden Opportunities program which works with one of the nation’s largest employers, McDonalds Australia, providing work placements in local restaurants.

Travis Williamson, Key Account Manager for Job Centre Australia, believes the Golden Opportunities program is a perfect fit.

“It provides a supported and structured environment where these young people can integrate into a workplace,” Travis said.

“The additional benefit of the program is the quality of the in-house training that these employers provide. Their processes and systems training is second to none and gives these young people valued skills to take forward into any workplace in the future.”

With a collective community approach, more can be done. Jen believes that Path 2 Change’s list of success stories is proof that homelessness may be a chapter in a young person’s life, but it’s not the whole story and is calling on more businesses to look past stereotype’s and assist homeless young people gain work experience and employment.

“These young people have so much to offer. They are more than a statistic, and just need to be given an opportunity to shine.”

Businesses interested in providing work experience or employment opportunities can contact Path 2 Change on 4951 2144 or email

Image | Jennifer O’Sullivan

Path 2 Change

Path 2 Change is a non-for-profit organisation that provides assistance to young people in the Newcastle and Hunter region.

For more than 30 years, Path 2 Change (formerly Newcastle Youth Accommodation Service) has provided secular, client-centred, and strength-based case management to young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, in the Newcastle and Hunter region.

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