Youth Homelessness in Australia
According to recent studies, about 40,000 homeless people in Australia are under the age of 25.
We all know that the youth is the hope of the future so it’s important that as part of the older generation, we make sure that they are given opportunity and safety. Unfortunately, even the governments are failing to do that. The National Youth Homelessness Conference held in Melbourne conducted a study about the homeless youth. This is the first in almost two decades that a study was done which concentrated on this particular matter. And it turns out that in the last 10 years, the rate of homeless youth has increased excessively. The figures are staggering and should not be taken too lightly.
This type of issue needs immediate attention and should be addressed in the best way possible. So what should be the immediate plan of action?
First of all, homelessness is not just a housing issue—it involves different issues, one being, problems occurring in the family. According to reports, most young people accessing Specialist Homeless Services have experienced family violence which ultimately led to mental health issues. Because of these unfortunate happenings inside their homes, they decide to leave them.
Family issues and mental health problems drive the youth homelessness. The best way to avoid any more complications is to intervene early in life. More programs for the youth and the family that will help address issues are needed. Make this a priority to help reduce the number of homeless youth.
Housing options that will specifically cater to the youth’s needs is a definite need to lessen the rate of homelessness. This has been an ongoing discussion, but it should be a priority. The need for rehousing is not just for the youth but for adults as well.
Rooming houses or short term accommodation suitable for the youth should also be given focus. Xotel, for instance, is a safe community housing not just for adults but for the youth as well.
The homelessness issue in Australia has been very causing worry to many. State Care is one of the options that is being embraced in the country, which includes foster care and other child protection care programs. But because the rate of homelessness has been alarming, it’s time to extend the state care homeless services for the youth. Those who are trying to transition into independent living after turning 18 years, couldn’t afford any rental properties and this means going to the streets. An extension of state care to 21 years old is something many concerned individuals are lobbying for.
Provisions for ongoing care should be established because according to studies, it may just decrease homelessness in half in no time. Plus, the state will save money each year.