Father Chris Riley on Youth Homelessness Matters Day

This year National Youth Homelessness Matters Day is on Wednesday 17 April and asks the nation to come together and raise much needed awareness of the issues related to child and youth homelessness around Australia.

At Youth Off The Streets we believe that the safety and wellbeing of our youth should be a priority for the nation but unfortunately, there are still 44,000 young people that are homeless around Australia. Of this number, more than half will be turned away from homelessness services in NSW due to the high level of demand.

However, homelessness is not just sleeping on the streets; there are many aspects to homelessness that people don’t realise. Homelessness can include couch surfing, living in refuges and sleeping in cars. You may not visibly recognise these people as homeless, but their experience is real and traumatic.

At Youth Off The Streets, we tackle all sides of homelessness and work hard to improve the lives of our young people. We need your support to continue to do this.

Our Inner West Youth Homelessness Service (IWYHS) crisis accommodations deal with these issues on a daily basis. With IWYHS we have helped over 400 young people in the past year and will continue supporting many more. We have experienced and trained staff to work at giving these young people a safe place to go and give them the support they need to change their lives.

Everyone in the community can take action and be part of the cause to end homelessness. This Youth Homelessness Matters Day, I implore you to think of the 44,000 young Australians facing homelessness and show your support by raising awareness. Together we can work to get young people off the streets.


[1] ABS, 2011

[2] The Cost of Youth Homelessness, Swinburne University of Technology, http://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/swin:41707

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