Youth Homelessness Matters to us

Youth Homelessness Matters Day on April 17 brings a focus to the plight of young people who are homeless or at risk of not having a safe and stable home.

More than 28, 000 young Australians do not have a home.

Stereotypes that homeless young people are “street kids” or “run aways” is not accurate. The truth is young people are often hidden from view, sleeping on couches, in cars, in refuges and they find themselves homeless for a number of reasons. The most common reasons include domestic and family violence and relationship and family breakdown.

Youth homelessness is exacerbated by low Youth Allowance payments, rising rents inflated by the housing crisis, insufficient supports for young people leaving state care and a lack of employment pathways.

Unison is one of the largest providers of services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the western region of Melbourne. We see a broad and complex group of people in crisis, nearly 50% of whom are born overseas.

We also see many families. In 2016/2017 we worked with 1,100 or so families which included 2100 children (18 years and under). Research indicates that childhood homelessness and transient housing can lead to disengagement from school, disconnection from community and be a first step to lifelong disadvantage.

This year Youth Homeless Matters Day has these aims

#1 Ensure that young people have greater access to support and services
#2 Break Stereotypes
#3 Engage with Government and Business

More information can be found on the Youth Homelessness Matters and the Council to Homeless Persons websites.