BRAND NEW 20TH MAN WEBSITE COMING DECEMBER 2013
The 20th Man Fund website is currently undergoing renovations.
Navigation throughout the site is still possible and our Brand-New site will be early December 2013.
20TH MAN YOUTH SERVICES – INTERNATIONAL ‘OUT-REACH’
20th Man founder – Les Twentyman, along with Jim Markovski and Youth-Programs Assistant Gum Mamur were recently in the United States spending time with our international partners – Homeboys Industries and S.P.Y (Safe Place for Youth).
20th Man believes the exchange of information and strategies with our international friends is crucial in tackling the youth crisis at home.
Former Melbourne Youth-Outreach worker Polly Williams heads up S.P.Y in Venice, West Los Angeles. In the following Youtube clip Channel 9’s US correspondent Rob Penfold presents a story on 20th Man and SPY connecting with the homeless along the iconic Venice Boardwalk.
The story aired nationally on Sunday 18 August.
Click here to see YouTube clip.
Struggling family touched by act of kindness
A group of Year 11 students from Xavier College have rolled up their sleeves to transform the backyard of a struggling Braybrook family.
Now the kids can play in a safe environment that is neat and tidy.
Les was on hand to commend the students for their efforts, describing them as "the leaders of tomorrow" who will benefit from the experience of helping out the less fortunate.
Click here to see Channel 7 news story.
Increasing crime will lead to US style gated communities
The release of crime statistics for 2012 by Victoria Police, which has shown a huge jump in the incidents of family violence of 39.7%, has led Victorian youth worker, Les Twentyman, to call for a re-think in how to address the escalating rate of violence.
"This rise is being caused by substance abuse, which is rampant across our community, causing a breakdown in family situations, and this is leading to an escalating rate of violence".
Click here to read full Media Release.
Letter to the Board by Ex Police Officer now Community Organisation CEO
Click here to read the letter from Craig Spicer, currently the Settlement Services Coordinator for the Wyndham Community and Education Centre in Werribee, formerly the Multicultural/Community Liaison Officer for Footscray Police.
Craig has nothing but praise for the tireless efforts of Les and the 20th Man Fund and hopes to volunteer some of his time when he retires in the coming years.
Protective Services Officers to start night patrols at Sunshine train station
Les Twentyman has welcomed the move.
Sunshine station will be the 30th Melbourne transport hub to get nightly patrols as part of the State Government's plan to have 940 Protective Services Officers on patrol by November next year.
The move has been welcomed by youth worker Les Twentyman, who said the station had a tragic history and was one of Melbourne’s most dangerous.
”I’ve worked in this area for over 30-odd years and I’ve lost a lot of young kids that have lost their lives because of knife fights and gang fights and some nasty stabbings,” Mr Twentyman said.
“A lot of women in this area carry two purses to shop - one to get mugged with, another one to shop with.”
By Annika Smethurst from The Herald Sun 7th January 2013
Back To School Program - 2012 Statistics
Assistance was required across the State, and was not limited to any specific ethnic group, with children helped from 31 ethnic backgrounds across 58 schools in the purchase of text books, stationary, and other expenditure, ensuring these 233 children stayed in school and off the streets with the 20th Man Fund investing $57,018.00 into this important program.
“We are seeing families from all backgrounds in need of assistance, and the number needing help is growing almost daily, but with our limited resources we can only help so many,” says Les Twentyman, founder of the 20th Man Fund.
“The program is critical in tackling the ever increasing rate of youth related crime, and we know that when kids fall out of the system this can easily lead to them being easy prey to join gangs, and ultimately a life of crime and drug dependency,” he said.
According to Mr. Twentyman, the main cause of kids falling out of the education system is the inability for the children’s family to meet the basic costs of their children’s education, and he believes that this should be the focus of the government rather than looking to the courts to solve the problem once the kids have left the system.
“Looking to solve the problem once a kid has fallen out of school and into a drug related gang culture through punitive measures through the courts is akin to shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, and will only lead to greater social problems,” says Mr. Twentyman.
“You have to tackle the issue by helping the kids to stay in school, and that can only be done by ensuring that there is adequate support for children who are, through no fault of their own, faced with difficult family and financial circumstances. This is what the ‘Back to School’ program actually does, and from the results we can see that this is an effective solution,” he said.
Currently the program is funded by fundraising activity by the 20th Man Fund, and the generous support of local community groups including the Brighton Rotary, the Footscray Lions Club, and the Schools Canteen Foundation, however to expand the program Mr. Twentyman is calling on more support from the State government.
“We had referrals from 21 agencies to help kids in need, and 5 of those where from government sponsored agencies including the Department of Human Services itself, so the government is in effect saying the program works, and what we need is more investment so that we can help a lot more kids,” says Mr. Twentyman.
Les On Channel 10 "Video Nasty" Story
Les On Channel 10 "Homeless Hotspots" Story
20th Man Joins Wize Owl Smart-Phone App
WizeOwl is a FREE smart phone app which allows you to save every day and receive instant discounts from local businesses you know and love just by showing your phone.
Better yet, when you register with the 20th Man app and save using the exclusive discounts provided you are helping the 20thMan Fund.
Thank you for your support!
Click here for more info about Wize Owl's smart phone app.
20th Man On ABC's Can We Help Program
On the 15th of October 2010, Les and the 20th Man Fund featured on a terrific program called Can We Help? on the ABC.
The episode in question is a very informative and accurate portrayal of what we do and what we are all about.
Sadly, the Can We Help? program is no longer on air but here's hoping that changes in the future.
Click here to see the TV transcript on the ABC's website.
Melbourne's Gang Culture
More prisons and more prisoners will be the outcome of the new four year sentences for street violence by young people. This has never worked in the USA, nor the UK - why would it work here?
Teenagers who are not in school often fall into gangs. The 21 million the Government will spend on this new law would be better spent on putting more youth workers in schools who have a real chance of tackling this problem at the source.
80% of Victoria's current prison population exited school pre-year 10. 50,000 kids were suspended or expelled from school last year. This is where the crime problem starts.
Click here to see Les on Lateline.
Melbourne Tigers Back 20th Man Fund
Sport, recreation and employment are the best ways for kids to steer clear of risk-related behaviour - always was, always will be.
Over 100 kids from the Redskins Basketball Club, their parents and two ageing youth workers were treated to a 2 hour basketball clinic at the home of our newest sponsor and supporter - the Melbourne Tigers Basketball Club.
The 20th Man Fund, in its support of the Redskins, has always promoted the importance of sport in young people's lives.
What better way to give young people hope and direction in life than to spend time with some of the world's greatest athletes, who are living examples of what can be achieved with hard work and discipline within a team environment.
Click here to visit the Tiger's website.
The Realities Of Cyberbullying
Cameras, mobile phones, computers and the Internet can open up many avenues of valuable social interaction between our kids but they can also be "weapons of mass destruction".
Talk to your kids about it and they are likely to come back and talk about with it you.
Let's make sure what happened to the Halkic family never happens again.
A trailer of the Community Service Announcement on young people, knives and stabbings filmed late August by Exit Films in conjuction with Life Blood Clothing Company, Redskins Basketball Club and the 20th Man Fund, was aired on Channel 7 News on August 31st.
The working theme "KNIVES THRASH LIVES" is an educational in your face TAC style production on the possible terrible and at times, fatal outcomes of weapon carriage by kids from various backgrounds.
In my travels looking at weapons in the hands of young people in places like Perth, Sydney, Northern Territory, Chicago, Los Angeles, Glasgow, as well as here in Melbourne for over 15 years, the same issues keep coming up about kids not feeling safe and therefore thinking that being armed will stop them from being attacked.
Recently police have admitted that we not only a knives problem but also a problem with gangs, which is hopefully a start in some future positive action on these fronts.
Former Deputy Commisioner of Victorian Police, Bob Falconer, has commented on the Channel 7 News piece as being very encouraging - finally education and not just more penalities and increased police powers to positively address this major attack on our traditional aussie culture of being "armed with weapons".
Click here to see the Channel 7 footage.