Imagine not knowing where you are sleeping each night. Living out of a single backpack and relying on the kindness of others to have a place to stay. You feel like you have no place to belong and start to wonder if you’re a burden to those you’re staying with.
This is the reality for the thousands of young people in Australia that are homeless and couch surfing in order to survive. Of these young people only 12%, that sought support from homeless services in 2018, actually received it. This left them experiencing repeat episodes of homelessness. Couch surfers are also more likely to be young and female, and the most common reason for fleeing their home is due to domestic and family violence.
These young people weighed up their odds and decided that their home or circumstance was no longer safe, leaving them with no other option than to find somewhere else to go. However, because this form of homelessness is ‘hidden’ from the public, often these young people struggle to receive and to ask for help. But their experiences are real and traumatic, and are likely to be an indicator of longer term homelessness.
At Youth Off The Streets we provide early intervention as well as crisis accommodation and support for those in need. We will continue to advocate for these young people as every young person has the right to a place where they belong and feel safe.
 AIHW 2018