Kids Under Cover - IOOF Foundation grant -VIC

The IOOF Foundation has agreed to provide Kids Under Cover with a grant of $30,000 in 2014 to support Kids Under Cover’s Studio program in Victoria. The funds will contribute to the build of a new, fully relocatable one or two bedroom Studio, 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. 

Each studio has a lifespan of approximately 20 years, and with the average time with one family of approximately 3.5 years, each can be relocated up to 5-6 times. Therefore, each Studio can provide stable housing for 12 or more young people over its usable lifetime.

Ivy's story

At 75 years old, Ivy* was like many other Australian grandparents – retired and living on a pension.

But when her four grandchildren suffered severe neglect and violent abuse at the hands of their father, she stepped in to care for them. The eldest, Hayden*, was so traumatised he would fly into fits of rage and threaten to run away.

Her small, two-bedroom home quickly became cramped and overcrowded; Hayden was sleeping in an enclosed back porch that was extremely cold and dark. But Ivy couldn’t afford to move into a bigger home.

“I was exhausted, had no support and constantly worried that Hayden would make good on his threat and wind up on the streets. I knew if that happened I might lose him forever. I didn’t know what to do.”

Exhausted and financially strained, she enquired about Kids Under Cover’s Studio Program. When Ivy’s application was accepted, a two-bedroom Studio was built in her backyard.

“When our application was accepted, I felt a huge sense of relief.”

For the first time in a long time, Hayden had a stable place to live and study. The benefits were widespread and immediate: relationships improved and Hayden now has positive plans for his education. 

“Things improved straight away - the boys got on better, the fighting stopped and Hayden is now a well-behaved young man. He is focused at school and he even mows the neighbour’s lawns for pocket money!”

This unique living space gives families the extra room they desperately need to stay connected. It relieves conflict and overcrowding and provides young people like Hayden with a secure and stable environment. 

“The Studio has been life-changing for everyone.”

Not only did the Studio help Hayden develop independence, confidence and self-respect, but it gave Ivy the support she needed to keep her grandkids safe. With a little extra room, they were able to function as a happy, healthy family. 

* names have been changed for privacy reasons