The Australian Youth Service (AYS) will offer free meals and social outings to help people cope with tough times, the minister for youth services said on Wednesday.
The service is expected to be launched in July, and the service will offer people the chance to chat to a range of youth, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
“The YS will provide food and meals to young people, particularly those who are in urgent need,” Senator Derryn Hinch told a Senate Estimates hearing on Wednesday afternoon.
Young people in Australia suffer from a range, including mental health issues and substance abuse.
Some of those young people are not able to access a regular social network, and are dependent on the YS for help, Mr Hinch said.
“We’re going to give these young people a chance to make their own way, to have their own voice, to speak to other young people,” he said.
The YWSS is a voluntary organisation, which is a separate organisation from the Commonwealth Department of Human Services (DHS).
“There are some issues with how it’s being run, and there’s some challenges with how we’re delivering it,” he added.
Senator Hinch also outlined the agency’s plans to improve the service, which have been under review for several years.
He said the agency would “provide a range” of services, from job assistance to counselling and other support.
AYSS has already provided help to more than 20,000 young people in the past, and more than 30,000 youth will receive free meals during the trial period.