Miyay Birray Youth Services Moree have received a massive boost with $78,000 worth of funding to go towards their ‘Street Beat’ program.
The program involves a bus driven by Miyay Birray that drives around town on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and makes sure any children out on the street aren’t getting themselves into trouble.
“It's just picking up kids out on the street who are wandering around and making sure they don't get into trouble or have the opportunity to get into any trouble,” Miyay Birray Youth Service CEO Darrel Smith said.
“Some kids get on the bus, some don't. Not every kid that's on the street at night is an issue or a problem.
“It's just an opportunity for them to get a safe lift home or to a safe place.”
The bus often takes children to Miyay Birray, which runs a number of art programs over the three nights. Street Beat has now paired up the Moree PCYC, which will be open from 9pm until 1am on a Saturday night, giving children that aren’t interested in the art options somewhere else to go.
“That’s been our biggest problem, is that we pick the kids up and we’ve got nowhere to take them,” Mr Smith said.
“So we take them home or to a relative’s place if they can’t go home, but within half an hour they’re back out on the street again.”
Mr Smith said it’s not just about giving the children a safe place to go, but checking on their general wellbeing.
“We have a yarn to them and see what issues they have, whether there’s problems, and if they have something that we can help them with we can refer them off to another agency to do that,” he said.
With the funding, Miyay Birray have been able to buy a new bus, and provided they can prove their program is working, it will be a recurring payment each year.
“It'll be great because we weren't funded with it for so long, it was taking money away from other programs we used to run and we've seen it as a pretty important program to keep going,” Mr Smith said.
“Having kids out on the street wandering around isn't great and it gives them the opportunity to get into trouble.”
Miyay Birray will also be working closely with police in the program in a further effort to keep children off the street.
“We’ve got a good relationship with them, they’ve got kids that we work with together,” Mr Smith said.
“It’s good to know we’ve got another group trying to help out.”