Backing our community


YFS’ key role in our community has never been more evident than in 2019-20. Throughout the year, we invested in our community through innovative initiatives and local partnerships. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we adapted swiftly to meet local needs, support Logan people and provide leadership where needed.

YFS has been backing vulnerable people in the Logan community to overcome adversity and to thrive for more than 35 years. Nowadays, we extend that reach to the Scenic Rim and Redlands as well.

At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, we pivoted very quickly to meet urgent needs in our community, along with our colleagues from local, state and federal government and other community organisations. We established the Logan Response Hotline to provide food, essentials and medication to people left without funds or access to basics. We ramped up our rapid-housing response to ensure people were not on the streets. Substation33 refurbished hundreds of computers so students could learn from home. Our Spark service helped people left with no income to get jobs fast. And we adapted our service delivery across the board to maintain our support for vulnerable people.

The YFS Board’s investments in capacity building stood us in good stead, ensuring we were well-equipped to operate safely and effectively in a fast-changing environment.

Despite the pandemic, we continued throughout the year to take a lead on community-driven initiatives including violence prevention, social enterprise development and advocacy.

For example, we launched Men4Respect, building on our R4Respect youth violence prevention initiative, and we pursued innovative research partnerships for our e-waste business Substation33. We implemented our innovative Thriving Families Project, bringing together family coaches and a housing specialist in an integrated team to help homeless families move from crisis to thriving. A positive interim evaluation validated this approach, resulting in further investment from the Board as we seek ongoing funding for this initiative.

This report documents our achievements and impact in extraordinary times. It tells the stories behind our pursuit of the strategic intentions in our 2018-21 strategic plan. We continued to improve our services, capacity, sustainability and positioning.

YFS’ self-funded Thriving Families demonstration project backed families like Sharla-Kim and baby Ezra to find stable housing and pursue their goals for a good life.

Many people contributed to this work in 2019-20, including our Board, managers, staff and volunteers, our government partners and the many organisations and individuals who make up our vibrant community. We farewelled two long-standing Board members during 2019-20: former chair Jennifer le Savéant and director Michael Lowe. Both made very significant contributions to the Board, the organisation and the community through their service.

We look forward to continuing to back our community together in 2020-21.

Cath Bartolo (CEO)      Peter Goldsworthy (Chair)

Our impact report looks at our work across six areas that we consider essential foundations for people to thrive.​

Backing long-term homes

Homelessness in Logan is often hidden. The 2016 Census identified around 3000 people homeless in the city, many living in overcrowded dwellings or couch surfing. 2019-20 saw a determined effort by our community to reduce homelessness.
Read more

Backing stronger social connections

Connections with community and culture remained a high priority in 2019-20. Informal supports and a strong sense of cultural identity are sources of great strength that help people sustain positive change in their lives.
Read more

Backing better bottom lines

Money matters. In 2019-20 we enhanced our efforts to help people increase their incomes through two new programs. Our Financial Capability Hub continued to back people to manage their money well through difficult times.
Read more

Backing skills for life

Experts agree that people often need help with building essential life skills to enable them to move from crisis to thriving. For example, coping, parenting, managing emotions, planning and interacting in a workplace are learned over time.
Read more

Backing a safer community

Despite difficult times, YFS continued to help people in Logan and Beaudesert improve safety for themselves and their families in 2019-20. We also led local efforts to prevent violence, including a unique program targeting young men.
Read more

Backing hope for the future

Hope and confidence are essential for people to move from crisis to thriving. Across YFS we apply our core value of Optimism to help people believe in a better future and work to achieve it.
Read more