Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2017

To mark Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2017, Victorian youth homelessness organisations and peak bodies are calling on the Federal Government to commit to a national plan to tackle rising homelessness amongst young Australians. CHP has created a series of infographics which highlight the startling statistics around youth homelessness. 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows that 38,402 Victorians under the age of 25 sought assistance from homelessness services last financial year, over 600 more than the previous year. Nearly 40% of Victorians who sought homelessness help were under the age of 25.

YHMD Infographic 1

YHMD Infographic 2

YHMD Infographic 3

YHMD Infographic 4

YHMD Infographic 5

YHMD Infographics (folder)

It’s widely understood that youth homelessness Census figures are conservative estimates, due to the high likelihood of young people being in hidden forms of homelessness such as couchsurfing and overcrowded dwellings. Often young people don’t identify that they are living in a homeless situation.

Over 6,000 young Victorians who sought homelessness help in 2014-15 were couchsurfing, compared to 5,000 the year before.

A perfect storm of increasing reporting of family violence, decreasing housing affordability for families with kids, a pitifully low Youth Allowance and rising youth unemployment is contributing to the crisis levels of homelessness we’re seeing amongst our youth.

We need a national plan to end youth homelessness that addresses the systemic issues underlying it, including family violence, access to affordable housing, youth justice, young people leaving out of home care and unemployment.

CHP has been supporting a campaign called The Home Stretch, which is calling for the age at which young people are exited from out-of-home care to be raised from 18 to 21. Currently, around 50% of care leavers will end up homeless, unemployed or involved with the law within the first 12 months of exiting care. In Victoria, 400 young people exit care every year on their 18th birthday.

A national plan to tackle youth homelessness must include measures which specifically target young people leaving care, who are some of our most vulnerable citizens.

Table: Number of Victorian young people who sought assistance from homelessness services 2015-16 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)


Number of Victorian clients

% of all Victorian homelessness clients

0–9 years



10–14 years



15–17 years



18–24 years



All clients under 25 years old



 Youth Homelessness Matters Day background

Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) is a national campaign, held annually since 1990, aimed at raising awareness of youth homelessness amongst decision makers and the wider community.