As Australia marks Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2019, Council to Homeless Persons can reveal that in a shockingly high number of cases of youth homelessness, simply seeking help is not enough, and many remain in perilous circumstances.
In 2017-18, an alarming 3,641 young people were still either sleeping rough or couch surfing after seeking help for homelessness, according to our new analysis of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Data.
Even after seeking help, over 3,600 young people were still left out in the cold in Victoria in 2017-18.
— CHPVic (@CHPVic) April 16, 2019
A lack of affordable housing, alongside the low rate of Youth Allowance and low youth wages means that finding an affordable a place to rent is often impossible for young Victorians at risk of homelessness, and so not all young people needing help were able to be housed
CHP is asking that the Victorian Government invest in rental subsidies and support for 1,000 extra young people in the upcoming state budget, so we can make sure that when young people come looking for help there is housing to offer.
“These numbers are heartbreaking. Our young people deserve so much more than this. All young people should have the safety of a roof over their heads,”
Trying to find appropriate housing options for young people who find themselves without accommodation and at risk of living on the streets, is a huge stress on homelessness services, says the CEO of Council to Homeless Persons, Jenny Smith.
“These numbers are heartbreaking. Our young people deserve so much more than this. All young people should have the safety of a roof over their heads,” says Jenny Smith.
“The longer it takes for young people to be housed, the greater the impact on their mental health, ability to work or study and we are more likely to see justice system involvement and recurrent homelessness.”
”Victoria desperately needs housing solutions that young people can afford, and support for them to move into independent housing, or to reunite with family.”
Over 20,000 young people aged 15-24 asked for help for homelessness in 2017-18.
A recent national report card on youth homelessness gave governments a C-minus at best to grade their work on alleviating the issue.
It’s clear that young people in Victoria face significant challenges to overcome homelessness or prevent it, when they are at risk of losing their home.
To ensure we are providing young people with the help they need, the Victorian Government must provide rental subsidies and support for young people.
For more information, please read our State Budget Submission’s chapter, Meeting young people’s housing needs.