Combating Youth Homelessness

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Combating Youth Homelessness

There is a shortage of long term, supported accommodation options for young people who are unable to live at home. 

The statistics for homelessness, particularly for youth, are getting worse according to the ABS Census

Table 5: Homelessness in NSW by age groups, 2006 to 2016

Age groups

2006

2011

2016

% Change 2006-2016

2016 Rate

Under 12

2,775

3,609

3,963

42.8%

35.2

12-18

2,027

2,587

2,677

32.1%

43.3

19-24

2,938

4,043

6,365

116.6%

109.4

25-34

4,068

5,153

8,715

114.2%

81.6

35-44

3,539

3,825

5,041

42.4%

50.3

45-54

3,143

3,794

4,537

44.4%

46.4

55-64

1,968

2,513

3,626

82.6%

40.8

65 – 74

1,106

1,273

1,939

75.3%

28.6

75 and over

638

688

846

32.8%

15.6

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016, March 2018.

In the years that follow foster care, the statistical outcomes for this cohort are particularly poor, keeping in mind that 50% of 18-24 year olds have never left the family home.

  • 35% homeless in first year compared to 1% of general population.
  • 65% have not completed year 12 compared to 21% of general population.
  • Almost 50% of males and 20% of females have had contact with the criminal justice system compared to just .05% of general population.
  • 29% are unemployed compared to the National average of 9.75%.
  • 28% are already parents, around 3 times more likely than their peers.

FCA is not an organisation that sits back and does nothing when the reality being faced by young people exiting the system is so bleak. 

We are hearing stories of young people being comforted by case workers on the eve of their 18th birthday because the next day they move out to a homeless shelter or temporary accommodation.  That’s if they are lucky and have a good caseworker.

These young people need, and deserve, better.

Next month we are starting our new program – The Launch Pad.  This program provides young people aged 18 years and over with long term, subsidised and fully supported accommodation.  Our wrap around support service works with individuals to identify their strengths as well as their unique needs.  The young person will work with a dedicated support person to set and achieve goals.  They will see a counsellor on a weekly basis to help them deal with the trauma they have experienced.  We do this until they feel ready to make that transition to independent living.  We then support them as they transition to independence to ensure they are set up for success.  Once they have transitioned, we keep in regular contact so if anything happens, they are supported.

Essentially, we want to provide these young people with the same support and opportunity any typical 18 year old receives from their parents.  These young people should not experience disadvantage because of circumstances that were out of their control.

We receive no government funding for this program.

We are driven to provide this service because it is the right thing to do for these young people.  Because these young people deserve the opportunity to reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

However, we cannot do this alone.  We need the help and support of our community.  We are currently trying to fund the start up of a social enterprise that will not only provide a sustainable income for the charity but will also offer an employment opportunity for the young people accessing the program.

Please help us make a real, life changing difference in the lives of vulnerable young people.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/funding-sustainability

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