Mid­night Ex­press re­vived

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Mid­night Ex­press is back – but in a dif­fer­ent form.

The late night youth ser­vice has been in limbo since the end of 2011, when three part­time youth work­ers and the full­time co-or­di­na­tor had their po­si­tions ter­mi­nated. This was de­spite Porirua Healthy Safer City Trust ( PH­SCT) se­cur­ing $50,000 in fund­ing from the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment.

Last week, PH­SCT man­ager Jenny Lester re­ferred Kapi-Mana News’ in­quiries on the fu­ture of the ser­vice to Fanau Cen­tre man­ager Liz Kelly.

She said she was de­lighted to an­nounce that $38,000 of fund­ing re­main­ing on the MSD con­tract would be taken on by her or­gan­i­sa­tion, with youth worker Stu Filo em­ployed to be on the streets on Fri­day and Satur­day nights.

‘‘When [PH­SCT] asked for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est to run this ser­vice, I un­der­stand we were the only ones that ap­plied. Stu is al­ready out there, get­ting those net­works go­ing again. It’s ex­cit­ing and we feel we’re go­ing to be fill­ing a huge gap. There is def­i­nitely a need in this community.’’

Ms Kelly says rather than du­pli­cate ser­vices al­ready oper­at­ing in eastern Porirua, Mr Filo will pro­vide sup­port for them. He will link with Maori War­dens as well.

‘‘He will talk to youth at night, like Mid­night Ex­press did, then visit them dur­ing the day­time if need be and re­fer to groups like Streets Ahead or Youth Tran­si­tion Ser­vice.

‘‘This is about get­ting the right peo­ple do­ing the right things and we want this pro­gramme to be much more than a taxi ser­vice.’’

Ms Kelly says they will reap­ply for MSD fund­ing be­fore De­cem­ber, likely on be­half of the Fanau Cen­tre, rather than through PH­SCT.

Mid­night Ex­press be­gan in 2009 with youth work­ers talk­ing to and as­sist­ing young peo­ple out drink­ing on the streets or with no place else to go. Porirua City Coun­cil had ad­min­is­tered the pro­gramme but de­cided to with­draw sup­port in Oc­to­ber last year.

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