TRY targets vulnerable young people aged 14 to 26 years who are in a chaotic condition of drug and alcohol misuse, mental health issues, and educational and employment deficits dealing drugs in hotspots around urban communities. TRY implements an outreach and bridging model. Workers are peer mentors who make contact with the target group in community settings, on the street, in the flat complexes, building relationships by acting as role models. This model of working is predicated by intensive outreach and informal street-based activities. Bridging young people towards appropriate mainstream support services requires the workers to mediate between the young people and services they need. Over time, workers hand-hold the young people as they cross to a more constructive life-path involving healthy positive relationships, a positive relationship with drugs and alcohol and a positive regard for and by their community. As many of the participants do not identify themselves as drug addicts, it is interesting that the workers can challenge this perception and move participants into treatment. Identifying issues and responses at this stage will reduce future treatment needs. The project team is made up of one full-time Team Leader and two part-time Outreach Workers. TRY aims to move some of its target group into peer mentor roles to continue and expand this work with hard-to-reach and marginalised young people.
Targeted Response with Youth (TRY) is a project managed by Donore Community Drug and Alcohol Team (DCDAT). The work of the project is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding between the TRY Steering Group and the DCDAT Management Board. It is the intention of TRY to become an independent legal entity in the coming months.
The project works with people in the Donore Avenue area, in and around St Teresa’s Gardens (STG), Dublin 8.4 This evaluation aims to capture the achievements, challenges and learnings of TRY since its inception as a pilot initiative using an intensive outreach and bridging (IOB) model in 2017.