A SHOPPING centre in Langwarrin is actively encouraging youths to hang out at the shops.
The Gateway at 230 Cranbourne – Frankston Rd has launched ‘The Gateway Youth Hangout Program’ with a “pop-up chill out area” overseen by two youth workers running on a fortnightly basis on a Friday or Saturday.
Open to anyone aged 12 – 24 years, the hangout will be a safe place for youth to relax, play computer games on an Xbox, PlayStation and classic arcade game machines for free.
The program is run as an outreach centre in partnership with Frankston Council which already hosts six youth hangout spots in community centres.
“It’s no secret that The Gateway attracts many of the local youngsters as a place to meet and socialise,” Vicinity Centres marketing manager Fran Hutcheson said.
“We hope to create a safe environment for them to meet, where support services are on hand should they need; from job seeking through to help with homework or simply just a chat and some friendly competition on the Xbox.”
Later this year, a newly created ‘Youth Services’ bus will also visit the centre every second month providing a mobile hang out in the shopping centre’s carpark space.
See thegatewaysc.com.au for details.