What you need to know about youth homelessness.
There are more young homeless Australians than you might think
The most recent census shows nearly 60% of people experiencing homelessness in Australia are aged 34 years & under.
As well as rough sleepers (who make up 6% of the homeless population), homelessness includes those staying in overcrowded or inappropriate accommodation, sleeping in cars, or staying on couches.
This means that youth homelessness numbers are underestimated in most census data.
Homelessness is often hidden from your view
When people think of homelessness, they most likely picture a person sleeping rough on the street.
According to Mission Australia, couch surfing is often the first and most common way young people experience homelessness.
A 2016 Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia Study reported 86 percent of homeless youth had couch surfed before age 18.
Homelessness is complex
Homelessness can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- drug and alcohol abuse
- poor physical or mental health
- domestic violence
- lack of affordable housing
- family and relationship breakdown
- physical and / or sexual abuse
Where you can find help
Sir David Martin Foundation funds two youth drug and alcohol residential programs – Triple Care Farm rehabilitation program and Triple Care Farm withdrawal program (for 16-24 year olds).
These are not specifically homeless relief services, however, over 30% of young people are homeless when they join the program. These are youth specific, holistic programs that help young people with substance addiction and mental health issues.
Contact Homelessness NSW for further support.
How you can help
Early intervention is key. Our funded youth programs provide support for young people at a critical age. With the right support at the right time, young people have a better chance at breaking the cycle of issues like addiction and homelessness before it is too late. Click here to show your support and help save a young life today.