DLA Piper has worked with STREAT on their award winning Cromwell Manor project in Melbourne, which will see the refurbishment of the bequeathed manor that will provide homeless and unemployed youths the opportunity to upskill themselves.
A supported pathway into the hospitality industry, the manor will be fully self-sustaining and able to assist around 250 young people each year into work.
Finance & Projects partner and head of the firm's Melbourne office, Jane Hider, said that the program trains young people in cooking, catering and in hospitality more broadly so that they can find employment. The new facility will allow STREAT to continue this work on a larger scale.
“The design involves partly gutting and totally refurbishing this building and building a café, offices, a kitchen, garden, training centre, a coffee roaster,” she said. “The focus of STREAT is on younger homeless people and their view is if you can give a homeless person vocational skills, then you will enable them to find housing, improve their mental health potentially, improve their wellbeing and of course you’ll give them a source of income.”
STREAT currently has three cafes around Melbourne which employ young people following the completion of the training program.
“What I like about this particular organisation is that it provides very specific targeted, direct assistance,” said Hider. “They have one objective which is to address youth homelessness and they have a particular tool or means of addressing that, which is by empowering homeless people.”
The project, which will go ahead but is still fundraising, was recognised with a Social Enterprise Investment award at the Australian Social Enterprise Awards 2015.