A respite centre will be established in Canberra's south, with an aim to change the way support is offered to young people at risk of homelessness.
Modelled off a centre in South Australia, the accommodation facility will focus on early intervention and respite for under 16-year olds from ACT and surrounds.
The SA prototype, Ruby's, provides young people with a safe place to stay while working with families to return them home.
Homelessness researcher Dr Justin Barker said Ruby's had around a 70 per cent success rate of reunification.
"A lot of these young people can return home if we start to rebuild these relationships but it's just not something we do," Dr Barker said.
He said the default had tended to be transitioning young people to independence, despite research identifying children able to return home did better.
"We know that even if you rebuild that relationship a little bit but they still transition to independence they have better outcomes too," Dr Barker said.
The centre, which will be incorporated into a collaborative outreach program involving Youth Coalition, Marymead, the Conflict Resolution Service as well as Woden and Northside Community Services, will replace the current set up which has seen young people offered temporary accommodation at Marymead.
Marymead CEO Camilla Rowland said the not-for-profit supported the ACT goal of providing support to young people, through the Safe and Connected Youth Project.
"The project aims eventually to provide services such as the Ruby's model which provides 24-hour support and supervision, and connection with therapeutic interventions to assist the young person and their family to improve family functioning," Ms Rowland said.
Heralded for opening by 2022, the $1 million facility will be located in a refurbished existing Canberra building using $470,000 ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has allocated to the collaborative youth program.
Dr Barker, who is the executive director at Youth Coalition, said the accommodation will provide a home-like environment were families can visit their young people to work on repairing relationships.
He said traditionally the approach had been to wait until there was a crisis before there was any intervention.
"Sometimes that's just a little bit too late so this is really going 'let's not wait until the family relationship has broken down, let's not wait until they've been kicked out of home and it's irreparable.
"Every home has conflict, every home has some type of issue that pops up, for most people it doesn't lead to homelessness.
"The Ruby's model is about, where we can, addressing that conflict and finding more ways to deal with it and keeping them connected."
The continued funding follows an announcement earlier in the week from ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, if re-elected, ACT Labor will increase access to resources for young Canberrans suffering mental health concerns, increasing total mental health funding to more than $200 million a year.
More than half of young Canberrans surveyed recently by the ACT government described their mental health as either 'fair' or 'poor', Mr Barr said. "Right now, our city needs a progressive, experienced government that has the right plan to support our city through this pandemic and help our community recover," Mr Barr said.
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