Harrison House Youth Services was the new name for the services that were previously known as Harrison House Youth Hostel. In around 1985 the hostel in Hawthorn closed, and Harrison House Youth Services were established, in Harrison Street, Mitcham. At this time a new model of accommodation was introduced, with volunteer home parents.
Harrison House Youth Services grew out of the Harrison House Youth Hostel in Hawthorn. In the early 1980s, Harrison House had been expanding its services to accommodate young people of both sexes, and also developing additional accommodation and community support services in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Harrison House Youth Services helped a community group to establish 'Courtney Youth Services' in 1985. Courtney Youth Services set up Hotham Hostel, a specialist youth hostel for girls in North Melbourne. Courtney Youth Services was aupiced by Harrison House Youth Services until it became autonomous in around 1988.
By 1986, Harrison House Youth Services had programs at 7 houses and also included girls at risk of homelessness. It also ran a program called 'Harrison Industries', repairing motorcycles and selling playground equipment, funded by the William Buckland Foundation.
In 1989, the organisation became known as Harrison Youth Services. That year, it established Greenock House, a service for people with an intellectual disability leaving prison.
By 1991, Harrison Youth Services operated 11 houses and in 1992 moved its administrative headquarters to the Wantirna South Uniting Church, 111 Mountain Highway, Wantirna.
In 1993, it merged with the Waverley Youth Housing Group.
Harrison Youth Services opened an opportunity shop at Blackburn in 1989 and another one in Vermont in 1993.
In 1994 the name changed again to Harrison Community Services reflecting a broadening of services delivered by the agency, to include families as well as young people.
Sources used to compile this entry: Harrison History, UnitingCare Harrison, 2015, https://www.unitingcareharrison.org.au/index.php/about-us/history; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 22 May 2013, Last modified: 6 November 2018