Raw Potential on Thursday officially took delivery of a swish new Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo van, which was donated to the service for homeless and at-risk young people as part of its outreach service.
One of the first jobs youth outreach worker Gabrielle Penn will use the van for is to help move a young couple into a new home after they had been living in a tent throughout winter.
Ms Penn said the van would provide basics to young people in need such as swags and food and had a table on board where young people could fill out job applications and other paperwork.
It would go direct to young people to help them, whether on the streets or at a skate park or in a local neighbourhood. And it could just be a place for them to sit and talk in a safe and private space.
"It's a really exciting opportunity for us and for the young people of Canberra," she said.
Raw Potential chair Paul Kane said the donation of the van was the culmination of a dream. The outreach service has had various iterations, now part of St John's Care in Reid. Mr Kane said it had helped 10,000 at-risk young people over 34 years.
"And these are the kids who fall through the cracks. They're not always easy. But our view is, everyone deserves a chance, an opportunity," he said.
The van was donated after Canberra company P [Squared] raised $160,000 at its latest charity tennis tournament. The company's managing director Mark Peatey said the decision was made to give half the proceeds to Raw Potential.
Mr Peatey said the company wanted to make sure any charity funds it provided were transformational.
"We look at really needy Canberra charities that aren't part of big buckets of national funding but really make a difference to the local community," he said.
Ms Penn said Raw Potential helped a lot of youth made homeless through family breakdown.
"It's become even harder because when COVID-19 first hit, a lot of them returned home to those situations of family and domestic violence," she said.
"Others who were working, lost their hours in cafes and other entry-level jobs. There's a lot of stress and anxiety about the future - 'Where am I going to go? Am I going to get a job? Is there anything out there for me?"
The car was handed over on Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Canberra in Fyshwick, part of the John McGrath Auto Group, which has provided five years' free servicing.
The young people feel pretty special sitting in a Mercedes, which replaces a "pretty clapped-out" Ford Fiesta.
"Oh, the young people are stoked. They think it's beautiful," Ms Penn said, with a laugh.