The race is run 100% not for profit. Any proceeds net of strictly managed costs go to Berry Street (Learn More below). But that's not enough! We ask our participants to at least set up a runner profile through our Berry Long Run fundraising page and send at least one email to friends and family. Those who wish to drive their fundraising further will find it highly rewarding!
Berry Long Run has been raising money for Berry Street since 2014. You can set up your fundraising page here. Berry Street do lots of great work to help the children and families impacted by abuse or neglect, but what we’re specifically raising money for is the 'GOALS' program.
Funds raised to date for Berry Street by Berry Long Run:
What is the GOALS program?
Across Australia, 1 in 6 young people has experienced homelessness (Mission Australia, 2020) with young people aged 15-24 making up a staggering 21% of the population experiencing homelessness (ABS, 2016).
Berry Street’s GOALS (Going Out and Living Successfully) program provides support and accommodation for young people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or about to leave out-of-home care.
The program provides a safe, secure home where young people can learn the skills they need to live
independently, while being supported to complete education or transition into employment.
How it works
GOALS helps prevent youth homelessness and teaches valuable life skills by:
providing safe, secure accommodation for young people
promoting education, training and employment opportunities
helping young people with their independent living skills, personal development, community
involvement and social activities
supporting young people to transition into safe, secure and sustainable long-term housing.
The young people stay in the program for up to two years while focusing on their education and
employment as a pathway to independent living.
GOALS also supports young people to transition into shared or private rentals when they leave the
After two years in the program, young people are better prepared for independent living and leave
practical living skills
links to the community to prevent social isolation and loneliness.
When you fundraise for Berry Street, you’re helping young people like Zain, Terri, Amelia and Steven
to achieve their goals. Life is harder for some young people right now than it’s ever been. But with
your kind support, these young people – and many more – will receive mental health support, safe
accommodation and other vital services they need to be safe, thrive, and feel hope for their futures.
Zain was sleeping rough before GOALS
Zain* was sleeping rough on the streets of Melbourne when he was referred to Berry Street’s GOALS
program. His childhood had been impacted by family violence and he could no longer live at home.
Zain had experienced a difficult childhood. He was born in a refugee camp and when Zain, his
parents and his siblings moved to Melbourne, Zain’s relationship with his parents became
increasingly strained. While he was reluctant to leave his younger twin sisters, Zain could no longer
live at home due to family violence.
Despite living rough on the streets of Melbourne, Zain continued to attend high school. He was
constantly driven by wanting to complete his VCE. This was no easy feat, as attending school while
experiencing homelessness presents many challenges. It’s about more than not having access to
physical amenities such as a shower and a bed. When sleeping rough, Zain’s physical safety and
emotional state were also compromised, and Zain needed electricity to continue studying at night.
Zain was referred to Berry Street’s GOALS program in the year he was completing his VCE exams. In
his new home, with the support and stability of the GOALS program and his case manager, Zain
graduated Year 12 and was offered a place at a leading Victorian university to study music and arts.
“Receiving this offer still feels like a dream. I'm so grateful to GOALS, my case manager and to Berry
Street who believed in me and supported me,” said Zain.
Terri needed urgent support
Terri* wasn’t safe at home, and at a young age she became homeless. As a victim survivor of sexual
abuse, Terri faced multiple challenges.
Within the first 6 months of moving into the GOALS house, Terri was able to connect with mental
health services and work towards recovering from her experiences of violence and sexual abuse.
With support, she engaged in the legal system to seek justice and receive compensation through
Victims of Crime. Terri also completed her VCE and enrolled in TAFE to complete a Certificate IV.
Terri embraced all opportunities to further her independent living skills, health and wellbeing.
During her time in Berry Street’s GOALs program, Terri’s self-confidence and resilience increased. At
the end of her two years in GOALS, she was successful in securing long-term housing and is now
managing all aspects of the tenancy, from saving for bills to maintaining the garden.
The timing and availability of the GOALS program was critical for Terri to provide her with the
platform she needed to move safely and confidently into her future.
Amelia longed for a safe place to call home
Amelia* had been in and out of residential care for several years due to a highly volatile, abusive,
and often violent relationship with her mother.
Although she desperately wanted a safe home to live in, Amelia faced many barriers to finding
secure accommodation and the support she needed. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the
current housing crisis, had made matters much worse.
At the top of Amelia’s priority list was her personal safety, a place to call her home where she could
finish school, as well as somewhere she could stay connected to her siblings.
Soon after arriving at a GOALS house, Berry Street staff noticed an immediate positive change in
Amelia's demeanour. She is also learning how to identify stressors that affect her mental health and
knows how to seek help when needed.
“Amelia is an inspiration for other young people – she is resourceful, resilient and demonstrates
maturity beyond her years,” said her case manager.
Amelia is a great cook and is learning to budget and save so she can buy her first car. Since starting
with the program, Amelia secured a part-time job, completed school and has been accepted to study
a TAFE course. She’s also working on repairing her relationship with her family and every so often
has her little sister comes for a visit.
Empowered by her resilience, positive attitude and commitment to succeed, Amelia's future is
looking brighter than ever.
Steven has big goals for his future
Steven* only had six months left to finish VCE when he became homeless. He was 18 years old when
a family breakdown led to him losing not only his parent’s support, but a place to call home.
Unable to live with his extended family or a foster carer, Steven turned to sleeping on his friend’s
sofa and then in a friend of a friend’s garage – whatever was necessary to put a roof over his head
each night while he tried to finish school.
When he moved into his GOALS unit, Steven quickly set about making it his home. His new home is
his pride and joy, and he keeps it very neat and tidy, which means he passes the regular unit
inspections with flying colours!
Steven was encouraged to explore his interest in health and fitness and was taught how to create
healthy meals in the shared kitchen. He now loves cooking a meal to share with his friends and
fellow residents at the weekly group meetings.
Through our driving support and mentoring L2P (Learner to Probationary) program, Steven also
began working towards getting his driver’s licence, as he knew this would lead to better work
opportunities and more independence in the future. Steven also secured a part-time job in a local
retail store, so he could work towards his new goal of saving for his first car.
Steven excelled in his final term at school and got his driver’s licence. After he graduated, he got a
full-time job and has been recommended for a leadership role. He’s saving hard so he’ll be ready to
move out of his GOALS unit and live independently.
*All names have been changed in the interest of privacy.