The safety of our young people who sleep rough in capital cities is an important discussion for all Australians. However, the sad reality is that often something tragic has to happen before a conversation is sparked. After many incidents this year relating to homeless young people, such as the tragic death of a young homeless woman in Melbourne CBD, a much needed light has been shone on youth homelessness.
Reports from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute have concluded that homelessness in our capital cities has increased greatly in the last 15 years, with almost two thirds of the homeless population residing in these cities.  Of this homeless population, youth make up for 38 per cent of the overall total.
At Youth Off The Streets we are constantly advocating for the safety of disadvantaged young people with both short and long term solutions.
We provide crisis accommodation promoting the immediate safety of young people that may be sleeping rough or couch surfing. In addition we conduct a ‘street walk’ in the Sydney CBD that allows youth workers to reach out to young homeless in need.
We also offer long term solutions by aiming to break the cycle of disadvantage and anti-social behaviour therefore, helping to promote the overall wellbeing of disadvantaged young people.
Our long term solutions include providing education to those who may have been disengaged from the mainstream schooling system to empower them at a better chance at life.
With increased homelessness and anti-social or violent behaviour on the streets of these capital cities our homeless youth are put at an even greater risk.
Every young person deserves the right to access basic safety and support. Youth Off The Streets will continue advocating for young people in need to ensure they receive this support.
 Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
 (ABS, 2011).