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Tackling Youth Homelessness and It's Causes

Tackling Youth Homelessness and It's Causes

The recent news of Courtney Herron's death in Melbourne shook everyone to the core.

Only 25, Courtney’s life was taken away in just one night. The first shock was her brutal death – but the waves of shock about her being homeless, suffering with mental illness and struggling with drug addiction are only too familiar. She could well have been one of the young people that seek help through Triple Care Farm’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

Young people with mental health conditions are highly vulnerable – they often become disconnected from family and friends and end up homeless. Many are fleeing domestic violence and already frightened and misunderstood, they feel they have nowhere to go. If they’re lucky they can sleep on other people’s couches, or in youth shelters but sadly some end up in cars or using rough sleeping arrangements in parks, beaches or streets.

Without the safety of stable accommodation, these young people are at risk of violent crime. But they are also at risk of suicide. Life can feel overwhelming and as they are still evolving into adulthood they may not have the necessary resilience and life skills to cope. Addiction to alcohol and drugs are often a result of searching for a method to cope with their situation, to self-medicate.

Since the launch in 2017 of David Martin Place, a Detox centre at Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm, over 70 per cent of the young people (aged 16 to 24) attending have, in the recent period prior to getting help, attempted to take their own life. The majority have been homeless. Being unwell and without an address makes it almost impossible to get employment.

At Sir David Martin Foundation we’re proud to enable best practice models of care for young people in crisis through rehabilitation. Only then can they build a pathway for their future. Having a secure home for now and the future is vital to keeping young people safe and healthy.

For more information on homelessness and how to seek help visit our major partner, Mission Australia. 

Sir David Martin Foundation is the major philanthropic partner of Mission Australia and enables best practice care for young people with drug and alcohol addictions. The Family Foundation is the major funder of Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm programs. Learn more at www.sdmf.org.au

Helen Connealy,

Sir David Martin Foundation General Manager

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Friday, 20 September 2019

One in 3 homeless young people say they are homeless because they are unable to afford housing costs or find work...

Homeless youth are much more likely to have alcohol and drug problems, mental illness and trouble with the law...

33% of youth aged 16 and 17 years have tried at least one type of illegal substance including; cannabis, hallucinogens, amphetamines, ecstasy, opiates or cocaine...

Over 100,000 Australians are homeless on any given night, of which at least 44,000 are aged 12 to 25...