NEWS

Youth Homelessness Matters Day 18 April 2018

Did you know that more than 26 000 young people are homeless in Australia?

 

The 2011 ABS Census estimates that 26,238 Australians aged 12-24 are homeless on any given night. Over 40 percent of people experiencing homelessness on any given night are under 24 years old. However, the ABS has stated that “homeless estimates for youth are likely to have been underestimated in the Census” so the number could be much higher.

 

The ABS estimates a further 22, 443 young Australians are living in caravan parks, overcrowded dwellings or improvised dwellings, such as sheds or garages. Such living arrangements are often unsafe, unsuitable and place people at high risk of becoming homeless. It is increasingly difficult to find affordable housing across the country, which means there are more people at risk of not having a safe and secure place to live. In a country as wealthy as Australia this is just plain wrong and we all need to do something about it.

 

Together we have to end youth homelessness.

 

Did you know the key causes of youth homelessness are family violence and family breakdown?

The numbers are staggering. More than 45% of the young people seeking assistance from homelessness services across Australia need help with family violence and family breakdown. 64% of these young people were girls or young women.

 

And many people feel these numbers are an under count as understandably young people often don’t want to talk about violence and family break down they have experienced

 

How can end youth homelessness?

We know what some of the solutions to youth homelessness might look like: prevention, early intervention, timely intervention and getting young people rapidly into safe, secure affordable housing to minimise how long they are homeless.

 

A key part of any solution is national plan that clearly articulates how we will end youth homelessness. At the moment there is no such plan.

 

What can you do to help end youth homelessness?

You can be part of the solution. The first step to solving a problem is understanding it. Talk to you family and friends about youth homelessness and how we can end it. Make it everybody’s business

 

Contact organisations in your area who work to support young people experiencing homelessness. They will be able to let you know what local solutions and support is needed. Finally, our leaders need to show leadership. Ask your local political representative what their plan is to end youth homelessness.

 

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