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Young people are battling to find and keep safe homes 

Young Australians increasingly experience homelessness. Ages 19-24 see the highest rates, with around 40,000 15-24 year olds seeking homelessness services yearly, often on their own.

There is a scarcity of youth-appropriate housing, limited public or social housing, and very few affordable private rentals. Only 2.9% of social housing is rented 15-24 year olds.  For young people who can’t live safely at home this lack means that they have to seek out inappropriate and unsafe options like couch-surfing, boarding houses, or rough sleeping.

Almost a third of young people couch-surf to avoid sleeping rough.  But this puts them at risk of exploitation and makes it difficult to stay connected to relationships, employment, or education. Of those young people seeking homelessness services, 75%  struggle to access any form of education, training or employment.

Experiencing homelessness is traumatic, with people often cycling in and out of homelessness, bouncing from multiple services. Ensuring young people can assess peer-support and mentoring opportunities is an important part of our response. 

Housing right now is a very difficult space for young people generally. Our young clients are escaping family violence; experiencing poor mental health, living in poverty, and more. They require a truly safe and supportive space to call their own.

Twenty10 AssociationStreetSmart community partner

Young people need age-appropriate and holistic support 

The reality is that there are very few options for ‘youth safe’ housing and we need to invest in programs that fill this gap.  Young people face uncertainty and danger when sleeping rough, in adult rooming houses and couch surfing. Young people have different and specific needs to adults. They need responses that work for them and are both developmentally and age appropriate.

Above all, young people need a safe and stable home.

Throughout March and April we are raising awareness and funds to respond to Youth Homelessness in Australia. Funds will help young people be supported into safe and secure housing, accessing essential aid and wrap-around support.

Most of the young clients we serve are coming from generational poverty. These young people have most often got no family financial support to rely on. Trending over the past 2 years, we have seen an increase in the intensity of trauma, barriers and needs.

StreetSmart Community Partner

Meet Maria and Jaia

Maria (23) and her daughter Jaia (5) have been navigating homelessness for the duration of Jaia’s  life. Maria and Jaia have been living in overcrowded conditions within an extended family member’s home, forcing them to share a bed. When things at the house are tense, Maria resorts to couch-surfing at friends’ places with her young daughter. It’s an unstable situation for Maria and Jaia to be in.  Constantly moving from place to place means that Maria’s social connections are further weakened and Jaia’s education is disrupted. 

Responding to youth homelessness will take a whole of community response. We are grateful for the continued support of our generous monthly and once-off donors who collectively take action. Click the buttons below to help make a difference for young people facing homelessness by donating what you can and advocating for a National Plan to end child and Youth Homelessness. Together we can urge all levels of government to take real action and provide the necessary funding to implement solutions.