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Honda Donates $850,000 To Lighthouse Foundation To Help Homeless Kids

Youth homelessness in Australia remains a matter of significant and urgent concern.

It is recognized that almost half of all homeless people are under the age of 24 years, and in Melbourne, the disturbing trend has hit record numbers.

With the release this week of the National Youth Commission’s Inquiry into Youth Homelessness, there is finally recognition that this is an issue which can no longer be ignored.

To assist in combating the number of teens on the streets, Honda Australia Motorcycle and Power Equipment Pty Ltd (MPE) and the Lighthouse Foundation have entered into a partnership to offer much needed respite for youths in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Lighthouse provides a family home to young people who would otherwise be homeless, and through their long-term, Live-in Care Program offers a nurturing family environment for up to six young people at a time in each of its homes.

The Lighthouse program is unique and highly successful, however it could not continue to operate without ongoing financial support such as that provided by Honda MPE.

Honda has not only supported the Foundation through the donation of $267,000 over the last three years for building renovations and funding support for more carers in Lighthouse facilities, but is also now financially supporting the establishment of a "Honda Home”.

Honda will provide $850,000 in total including establishment and capacity support of an initial $350,000 followed by $250,000 per year for two years.

According to Honda MPE Managing Director Stuart Strickland, this is the biggest social contribution MPE has ever made to any one organisation.

“The work the Lighthouse Foundation is doing for homeless, disadvantaged kids is unparalleled and we are very pleased to support them,” Mr Strickland said.

“Lighthouse provides a family home, care and a loving environment to some of the most vulnerable youth in our community.”

“They support and guide these young people to find meaning in their lives and become valuable members of the community”.

Mr Strickland said Honda’s philosophy is “the power of dreams”, and projects such as the new Lighthouse home is an excellent way for young people in Victoria to realise their own dreams of a better future.

Based on a model created by Susan Barton AM, who prior to the establishment of the Lighthouse Foundation, had cared for young people in her own home for 16 years, the Foundation’s housing and outreach program responds to the urgent and complex needs of young people who are at risk.

The Lighthouse Program is designed to support young people within all aspects of their lives. This can include providing assistance with issues related to health, education, self-identity, relationships, social skills, emotional development and self-care.

Since its establishment in 1991, the Foundation has provided much needed practical assistance to more than 300 young, disadvantaged people.

The "Honda House" will be established before the end of this year and will be located within the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Lighthouse CEO Kane Bowden said “At Lighthouse, our aim has always been to make homelessness a thing of the past. Our vision is that every young person in Australia has a home.”

“Honda MPE is setting a new benchmark in corporate-community partnerships with the establishment of the Honda Lighthouse this year, and we are thrilled to be working with them to create real, sustainable change in the lives of our young people”.