FOR the past two years team members at Fusion Mornington Peninsula has dreamed of a social enterprise thrift shop and cafe to assist their work among young people on the Mornington Peninsula.
The Christian youth and community organisation, based in the former army barracks at Mt Martha, has been providing housing, youth programs and community support since the 1960s. Programs seek to connect young people aged 15-21 to networks in the community and engage them with a wider sense of belonging and achievement. By providing early interventions to youths within its program, it seeks to address the many issues that trigger long-term homelessness.
Fusion‘s Stephanie Byrne said the thrift shop would provide an ongoing income stream for their work and serve as a community hub for trainees, volunteers and visitors. It would be an extension of their mission: Strengthening young people through a community based response: accommodating, educating, supporting and sharing life.
“The shop would be a convenient space for people of all ages, with values of community wellbeing placed alongside profitability,” she said. “Donated goods would be renovated, repurposed and sold. Young and old will work alongside one another, helping vulnerable young people develop employability skills and healthy connections to the local community.”
Community groups will be invited to use the cafe/meeting space for classes and get-togethers.
The dream could be made a reality through the state government’s Pick My Project community grants initiative. Fusion is asking Mornington Peninsula residents aged over 16 to vote for the Pick My Project community grants initiative to help it secure the necessary $110,000 funding.