Project at crisis point
A COCKBURN not-for-profit organisation needs community support to roll out WA’s first LGBTQI crisis accommodation.
Assisting Your Life to Achieve Inc. (AYLA) has secured a fiveyear lease for a 2ha property that it hopes can provide at risk people aged 15 to 24 a secure place to grow and work through the barriers and traumas in their lives.
The centre would accommodate up to six residents, both LGBTQI couples and singles, with 24-7 security and support.
The hostel would also have access to other ALYA services, including therapy and counselling, medical support, food bank, training cafe, hairdresser and op shop.
AYLA has created a GoFundMe to raise the funds needed to cover the renovations at the site and assist in the establishment of the centre. The organisation aims to raise $100,000 to start the project but has so far gathered only $505.
AYLA founders Scott and David Johnson said the idea for the project came about after coming back to Australia from Europe, where they got married, and being baffled by the fact that there simply were not as many resources or support services for the LGBTQI community as elsewhere.
“There is not a crisis centre for LGBTQI in WA,” they said.
“All of the services that are currently out there at the moment cater to other groups; obviously if you fall just under youth then there is help, if you fall under the Aboriginal category there is help.
“Everything is boxed and funded for these particular things and unfortunately with the LGBTQI group it is difficult for them to find that they fit anywhere.”
The pair has applied to the City of Cockburn for approval to convert an existing house into a crisis accommodation centre, which they hope to have operational by the end of January.
“We do not want to make this about the equality vote, which has nothing to do with what we are trying to achieve,” Scott said.
“What we want, whether you believe in equality or not, is to help reduce the number of suicides and crisis cases in WA.”
To support AYLA’s project, go to www.gofundme.com/lgbti-crisis-accommodation.