Amanda Dalton & Justin Still

A group of homeless young people in care at The Haven support house in Toowoomba had a happier Christmas because of a timely donation by Power Tynan’s Charitable Trust and the Morgans Foundation.

Together they donated $5,000 just prior to Christmas last year. The Haven Manager Amanda Dalton said: “This amazing generosity could not have come at a better time.”

Ms Dalton said that The Haven Association relies upon private donations to provide many of its resources for young people.

“The Christmas holiday period can be one of stress in families and we have strong demand for all of our services,” she said.

“Some of our young people have nowhere else to go at Christmas so The Haven will provide some gifts and celebrate the day with them in the house."

“We receive government funding but that does not stretch to any services beyond the basic running of the house we maintain for homeless young people.”

The Haven Association maintains a purpose-built six bedroom house on the outskirts of Toowoomba with an additional two bedroom cottage, providing total accommodation for up to eight young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Aged between 16 and 18, the young people come from a variety of backgrounds and circumstance,” said Ms Dalton. “It might be family breakdown, an unsafe environment, abuse or neglect that causes them to be without shelter. We provide transitional residence to help them get on their feet again.”

She said The Haven teaches the young people life skills and support to engage with and complete their education and help them transition back into the community.

“They learn how to cook, they are required the keep the house clean, to shop for food,” she said. “We have a compulsory savings program so they learn some money management skills and eventually we help them find accommodation in the community, whether it be private rental or public housing. Of course, the best outcome is if we can help them and their families to be reunited.”

Justin Still, Executive Director at Power Tynan, said the firm operates its Charitable Trust from donations by staff and clients.

“We have been able to gift more than $100,000 to local charities since the Trust was founded in 2010,” he said.

“The Power Tynan Charitable Trust receives many requests for help. Our staff decide on the charities we help. They have ranged from the Toowoomba Hospice to CareFlight, the Rural Fire Brigade, Lifeline and many more.”