Young People Ahead Youth and Community Services (YPA) is the largest youth organisation located in Mount Isa, North West Queensland. YPA supports young people between the ages of 12 to 25 years. YPA at present has over 15 highly experienced and professional youth workers, who work from a strength based approach and are very hands on when working with young people and their families. Staff use creative and flexible approaches to support clients as they journey into making small steps towards a more positive and fulfilling future.
The organisations’ culture is one of Team Work, Advocacy and Integrity. All YPA services are client focused and work in collaboration with other organisations and government agencies to ensure the best outcomes for clients and their families are achieved in a holistic framework that involves "unpacking" all of the baggage a young person presents with.
Young people identify the organisation as being Trustworthy, Safe, and above all Fun to be with when engaging in programs and activities. As you will see from the ‘Gallery’ section of our webpage, the pictures illustrates the hard work that YPA staff do in terms of working closely with young people, their families and the greater community.
A Step Back In Time
Young People Ahead first started life as The Mount Isa Youth Shelter (MIYS) way back in 1983 when it was only a crisis youth shelter service. However over the years the organisation has grown with additional funding, and now includes the Bails Support Program, The Volatile Substance Misuse Initiative and most recently the Youth Housing and Reintegration Service (YHARS).
The Bail Support Program came on board to YPA in 2003 for a trial period, then in July 2004 the program entered into a 3 year agreement with the State Government and has continued to support in earty intervention and prevention programs as well as assisting young people entering, and or exiting the criminal justice system.
In June 2005, the ‘Volatile Substance Misuse "Place of Safety" was added to YPA, after following the relinquishment of funds by another community-based organisation and has since secured continual funding from the Sate Government.
YPA amended the name from the ’Volatile Substance Misuse Place of Safety’ to ‘ The Volatile Substance Misuse Initiative’ as the service objectives were more than just providing a safe place but to provide intervention and prevention also to address substance misuse.
With the new growth at Mount Isa Youth Shelter Inc, a review was conducted in 2007 and found the organisations’ name no longer truly reflected what the organisation was about, especially when crisis accommodation was one of other funded programs. This was when the name ‘Young People Ahead’ was implemented, and aptly named by the youth who utilised the services.
The most recent addition to YPA is the Youth Housing and Reintegration Service (YHARS) which we successfully tendered for in July 2010. Being a pilot funded service to address youth homeslessness in the city, the YHARS funding is currently in review, but given the tremendous outcome already achieved by the service, YPA is positive that future funding will be continued.
2011 saw the organisation move into its new premises on 11/13 Fourth Avenue, with bigger work areas and youth friendly spaces to deliver programs, activities and events. YPA is spearheading the establishment of a Youth Headspace to tackle mental health and curb the rates of youth self harm, abuse and suicide, as as looking into the creation a one stop "Youth Hub". In addition to this YPA is working closely with Government and community stakeholders to supporting remote Gulf communities and deliver youth development programs to address youth specific issues and needs.