PORT Adelaide’s landmark Central Buildings will open for business before the end of the year.
The revamp of the Port’s second oldest building, at the intersection of St Vincent St and Commercial Rd, is part of a $10 million joint initiative between the AFL Players Association, AFL Foundation and the State and Federal governments, to house 23 youths at risk of homelessness.
To be known as The Ladder Project, it will integrate secure accommodation with mentoring and training programs in partnership with the AFL, based on the “Foyer” model already well-established in Britain and France.
Project officer Andrew Crowell said leasing agents for nine street-level shop-fronts would be appointed this month, while residents were expected to move in once building work was complete by November.
“We are hoping that the newly renovated spaces will attract some good businesses to come down to the Port,” he said.
The young people selected to live in the upper level of the building would be fully supported by staff who would be on-site 24 hours each day, he said. “They will not just be tenants, part of the project’s foundations requires that the young people must be engaged in some form of education, training or work within six weeks of moving in.
“And we will provide the links and networks to assist them in finding these positions.”
He said tenants, to be aged between 16 and 21, would be selected from Housing SA’s waiting list.
“They will be able to stay as long as they need to.
“But past experience of the program has shown after 12 to 14 months they generally have the skills to be able to live independently.
“We’ll help them find a new home and continue to provide them with support after they leave.”