Father Chris Riley on Homeless Person’s Week

Homeless Person’s Week runs from 3 – 9 August. It’s upsetting to think that Australian young people are still in danger. It’s 2015, and we still have 47,000 young people on the streets every night and these are just the ones we know about.

Six of every 11 young people that try to get into a refuge will be refused; there just aren’t enough resources available for homeless young people. The five that aren’t able to find a safe bed for the night will have to try their luck on the streets.

Make no mistake, this is a very tough and stressful decision for a young person to make. The dangers on the streets are well known. The homeless young people that I talk to often tell me of friends or people they know being bashed, sexually assaulted or tormented after sleeping rough on the streets.

Young homeless kids have to keep their shoes on at night, because they have to be ready to run from danger at a moment’s notice. We don’t want this to be the case: we want to create a safer Australia for our young people.

The #laceitup campaign is aimed at raising awareness and funds for homeless young people. It highlights the fact that homeless young people have to sleep in their shoes. They don’t have the luxury of taking their shoes off at night and lacing them up in the morning.

During Homeless Person’s Week, we’re asking Australians to support homeless young people by swapping their normal laces for blue laces. As you swap the laces, take a photo and share it across social media using #laceitup.

Only by coming together can we truly tackle the issue of youth homelessness and help get them off the streets. Visit www.laceitup.com.au for more information on how to get involved and help the most vulnerable in our society – the young and homeless.

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