Today is national ‘Homelessness Matters Day’. It is hard to credit that over 6,400 young people are homeless every night in Victoria…what about the rest of Australia?
In Victoria the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) is joining services across Victoria to raise awareness about solutions to youth homelessness. It says:
“On any given night there are over 6,400 young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who have no place to call home in Victoria. Many of these young people have been in and out of state foster care and almost half are not in school.
“Most people are shocked by the number of young people who are homeless because youth homelessness is often hidden. Many young people who become homeless are escaping problems at home or ‘couch surfing’ with friends, so they’re not always visible, sleeping rough” said Sarah Kahn, CHP’s Manager, Policy and Communications.
Structural and personal issues, including a shortage of affordable housing options, disengagement from education or health issues can make it really hard for some young people to exit homelessness.
Youth Homelessness Matters Day aims to create a dialogue about the pathways in and out of homelessness so we can better respond to the problem.
Ms Kahn went on to say “We acknowledge the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments’ unprecedented response to this problem in recent years, but youth homelessness is unacceptable and we must do more.”
“Young people need what all need for a chance at a good life – secure housing, health, education and employment.”
“To deliver these services better, CHP calls on the Victorian State Government to implement a plan for preventing and ending homelessness. It should set targets for ending homelessness among young people, with a focus on joined-up-government responses and secure, affordable housing options for families.”
Does joined-up government need to join up with community and business?