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The Role of Early Intervention in Ending Youth Homelessness

Homelessness is a problem that has been going on for so many years now. Homelessness does not discriminate – it can happen to any gender, race, age – it is definitely an equal opportunist. What’s even sadder about homelessness is the fact that young people may also go through this. In fact, there has been a sudden rise in youth homelessness for the past couple of years, which is very unfortunate. The youth should be protected at all costs.

There are many ways to control the increase of youth homelessness, but experts have noted that one particular thing will most likely end homelessness in a decade if done correctly. That is early intervention.

Early Intervention Measures

Early intervention is defined as the identification and provision of effective early support to young people who are at risk of poor outcomes – which includes homelessness. Why is this so important? The short answer is because it has a significant impact on the young person’s overall well-being. We all know that homelessness is not limited to not having a place to live in. Its definition has expanded over the years because of the different unfortunate situations taking place.

Early intervention is likely to be more effective if it’s done early in one’s life. It is called early intervention because it is meant to be done sooner than later. For example, a child’s development will improve much faster if skills are taught early. The same way a specific type of therapy is deemed to be much more effective if it’s introduced right away, not when things are getting already out of hand.

Going back to the relation of early intervention and ending homelessness, there are a few reasons why homelessness among the youth occurs. One is issues concerning the family they belong to. Many young people are forced to leave their homes because of the problems they are facing. This could drive them away from their families. People who go through extreme mental stress may eventually experience mental problems, which could then, lead to an unhealthy environment not just for the person but for the people around them.

These things are too much for any person to take – let alone a young person who’s just only discovering what their world is all about. We mustn’t let youth homelessness to be such an even bigger problem.

So how do we end youth homelessness? There must be system changes.

Identifying who is at risk before a crisis even occurs is a huge step to controlling the increase of youth homelessness. In Australia, a school-wide survey was conducted using a few important questions such as:

  1. Do they feel safe at home?

  2. Have they stayed somewhere else (perhaps at a friend’s) recently?

  3. Do they find any meaning in their life?

  4. Do they ever go to bed hungry?

The results are crosschecked with teachers’ lists, and if there is enough evidence that a student is at risk, appropriate help is matched to them. This could be group sessions, counseling, and other services they might need.

Of course, there is still the issue of not having enough affordable housing. It’s such an important early intervention measure that needs to be prioritized. If people can afford a safe house for them, it affects not the emotional and mental state positively.

Xotel is always willing to partner with different organizations and institutions to help end youth homelessness once and for all. Visit our website and social media pages for more information.

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