Case Study Pages:
Providing an innovative solution to a societal problem
Father Chris Riley is an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is about coming up with creative ideas (often involving risk-taking) and then finding the resources and opportunities to put these ideas into action. We generally associate entrepreneurship with business ideas, or creating personal wealth, but the characteristics of the entrepreneurial spirit – passion, perseverance, problem-solving and a never-give-up attitude are just as important in charities and not-for-profit organisations. Fr Chris saw a real need for more support for homeless young people in the inner city.
His tenacity and commitment saw Youth off the Streets grow from a single food van delivering meals to young homeless people on the streets of Kings Cross into a major youth charity employing over 200 staff members.
An effective charity should be run in the same way as an effective business – to ensure that as much of the organisation’s funds as possible go towards the charity’s primary goal of helping people. YOTS operates in the same way as any other business, with a clear mission statement, vision, strategic aims and goals. These help focus the charity’s efforts and help personnel make the best possible decisions about how funding is used.
YOTS is helping disconnected young people to discover greatness within, by engaging, supporting and providing opportunities to encourage and facilitate positive life choices.
YOTS’ vision is that we are well planned and balanced to meet the needs of all our stakeholders and in doing so we are focused on outcomes, community and sustainability.
In 2008, YOTS released the PRIDE values, developed by young people helped by the organisation, in conjunction with YOTS employees and the Board of Directors. These are YOTS’ guiding principles and reflect both the values that are most important for all those involved with YOTS to commit to and the overall aim of the organisation – to instill pride and self worth in disadvantaged young people.