Frontyard, Victoria’s largest early intervention and crisis service for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, is being transformed into a world-first 24 hour youth homeless centre.

The $8 million project is a partnership between Melbourne City Mission, the Victorian Government, philanthropists including The Peter and Lyndy White Foundation, and the Property Industry Foundation.

The facility will include new and expanded support services, including two floors of crisis accommodation for young people who are currently sleeping rough in the city and onsite mental health, drug and alcohol and disability expertise.

“There were a lot of non-conformities in the existing building and we also had to upgrade its standards as we were changing its use from Class 5 (office) to Class 3 (accommodation),” says Brendan Watts, project manager at consulting firm Case Meallin, which is working on the project pro-bono.

“Many updates needed to take place regarding the existing infrastructure, which was a larger task than expected. Additionally, being attached to other offices at the rear of the building also meant working within noise restrictions.”

“Tackling the issue of homelessness is tough, but by getting in early we will hopefully be able get young people off the street and help them break the cycle of homelessness. This facility is the first of its kind for Melbourne City Mission and could be the start of something ground-breaking,” adds Peter Meallin, director at Case Meallin.