The teachers had noticed Josh*, 17, seemed hostile.
In class he was belligerent, closed off. And there was that incident with a box saw, when he cut up a school table. Josh wanted to quit school. Something was wrong at home, but no one could get him to open up.
So a teacher pulled aside Michael* – a social worker who visited the school weekly – and asked him to intervene.
“They said Josh isn’t going well. He’s angry and moody in class,” he said.
A modest community project to decrease the number of students becoming homeless and leaving school has achieved extraordinary success, and sparked interest in state and federal education departments.
The Geelong Project – the brainchild of local schools and youth services – has produced a 40 per cent reduction over three years in the number of homeless students asking for help, and a 20 per cent reduction in those leaving school early.
Click here to read more.