You are 12, You used to have a home but going back is not a option, not when its like that. On weekends things don’t seem so bad because you stay at friends places for sleepovers, get a nice warm bed (even if it is just a trundle) and a home made meal, thats what you miss the most… a home made meal. The week days are harder. You bounce from shelter to shelter and try you best to get to school. Some days the shelters can’t have you, they’ve got to share the beds with other people, who in your opinion are worse off than you. So you curl up with your sleeping bag in the safest place you can find and dream of better times. It’s not an easy sleep. It’s not a safe sleep.
- This is more than just a story, this story is a reality for 44083 youth age 24 and younger, of those 44080, 17845 children under the age of 12 in Australia. These children, at 17%, represent the second highest percentage of the overall homeless population in Australia (Homelessness Australia 2016). As the statistics show, youth homelessness is a social issue that is extremely prevalent.
- Homelessness is not just seen as sleeping out on the streets, the National Youth Coalition for Housing, depict homelessness as not having a home, and therefore as a result losing ones sense of social and physical security
- Homelessness in youth leads to an increased likelihood of nutritional deficits, infectious illness, anxiety and depression and behavioural issues (Homelessness Australia).
Why did I choose homeless youth?
I believe that youth homelessness is a social issue that is not spoken about enough. We as people have a natural tendency to avoid topics of unpleasantness, but should we not talk about them at all just because it is not being shoved in our faces?
In the weeks to come I hope to discuss and share information about the causes of youth homelessness and the tolls that it takes.
Homelessness Australia 2017, Homelessness and Young People, Homelessness Australia, viewed 26 March 2017 <http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/fact-sheets>
Youth homelessness matters 2017, About homelessness, Youth Homelessness Matters, viewed 26 March 2017 http://www.youthhomelessnessmatters.info/about-homelessness