Over the past 10 – 15 years, West Coast Youth and Community Support has successfully run ‘Drop In Centres’ for Young People in Port Lincoln, largely due to funding provided by the National Illicit Drug Strategy. The aim of the project was early intervention and prevention of illicit drug and alcohol use and abuse. However, the situation always inevitably arose that grant funding used to run the drop in centre ceased and the facility was closed (or even relocated on occasion). This instability created confusion with young people and has not allowed for stability of the project.
Port Lincoln is a town of 15,000 people with approximately 20% being between the ages of 12 and 25. The only facilities available in Port Lincoln that relate directly to youth are a Swim Centre, a Skate Park, a number of pubs and a nightclub.
The lack of drug and alcohol free youth related facilities in Port Lincoln is considered by the Port Lincoln Youth Advisory Committee to be the main cause of youth related crime in Port Lincoln, incorporating both drinking and boredom.
In an attempt to solve the problem at hand, the Port Lincoln Youth Advisory Committee prepared/brainstormed a solution which involved opening a Youth Café in Port Lincoln, run by young people for young people. This solution would create a sustainable way to provide a space for young people in the community.
In July 2009, an opportunity arose to establish Youthoria as both a Café and Movie Cinema. Any profits made will go back into the business and into providing youth programs and projects for young people.
- Providing a venue designed specifically for young people by young people;
- To create a viable business that will become sustainable and allow for funding to continue to run relevant projects relating to youth;
- Providing young people with an opportunity to partake in workshops and trainings offered at Youthoria as well as gain information on services available to them;
- Youth ownership of Youthoria, by allowing young people to play the major role in the decision making processes.
- Creating a space that relates to young people, making the project more successful.
- The creation of a safe place for young people in Port Lincoln, that is drug and alcohol free.
- Better information dissemination, leading to more young people accessing services to assist them.
- Increased employment opportunities and training for young people in Port Lincoln.
- Early intervention and prevention strategies in relation to crime, drug and alcohol use and abuse.