Where is a safe place for kids at night in 2016 and beyond? It may be home, or it may be another location.
Whatever that location is, the Port Augusta Youth Bus will help kids get off the streets and into safety.
And after winning a recent tender to manage the bus, the Salvation Army Port Augusta Corps is excited to help.
The service has been in operation since 2002 and run by different community groups. The 12-seater bus is run by two outreach workers and can hold up to 10 kids at one time.
During school holidays, the bus runs everyday from 10pm-3am and on Friday and Saturdays from 10pm-3am during school weeks.
Salvation Army Port Augusta Corps Manager of Community Services Scott Cugley is excited about what the Youth Bus offers.
“We aim to connect young people with other programs … looking to support other existing youth services and encouraging kids not to hang out at night time which can put them at risk,” Scott said.
“And while helping them get home safely, we’re looking to be able to establish relationships with kids and build mentoring relationships with kids.
“It exists as both an outreach and intervention, it’s there to establish a connection with young people.”
Scott said the program will work with local police, K9 and other outreach services to follow established routes where known ‘hotspots’ of kids gathering exist.
The bus will also use social media as a point of contact, along with a mobile phone.
Scott said this will help provide another point of contact and information on a platform regularly used by youth.
“It’s about getting kids to safety and nine times out of ten that’ll be home but being realistic about it, home isn’t always the safest place for kids,” Scott said.
“It’s about trying to establish where is the best place for that young person to be, so if it’s not home,it might be a family members place …”
“And from there it’s about doing what we can to get them there.“
For more information contact Scott Cugley 0419 151 980 or visit the Facebook Group.