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NYCH meeting sets targets for youth homelessness change

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State representatives from the National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH) met on 25 March and identified five key areas around youth homelessness to be raised with Homelessness Australia, which were outlined in a NYCH communique.

The NYCH would like to see a national youth homelessness framework developed. Currently no state or territory has an active framework, a situation which the NYCH says is ‘compounded by the current lack of a national youth strategy’. Accordingly, the NYCH will make the development of such a framework one of its key activities over the coming year.

The framework would take into consideration:

  •          Youth justice
  •          Young people on custody orders (e.g. housing guarantee)
  •          Young people leaving care
  •          Child protection
  •          Education
  •          Youth unemployment
  •          Young people under 16

NYCH recently hosted the annual Youth Homelessness Matters Day (15 April), and sees this day as an opportunity to ‘create a national conversation on youth homelessness to show decision-makers that this issue is a priority for the community’.

Joanna Siejka, Chair of the NYCH, said that this year's Youth Homelessness Matters Day had a social media reach of five million people, which is a massive increase on last year's reach of half a million. Ms Siejka said that the day had certainly gone some way towards achieving the NYCH goal of making youth homelessness a matter of national priority. She added that the day had also gained quite a lot of traction internationally. 

‘If everyone in the community knew how their actions could support early intervention for young people experiencing homelessness, then a huge difference could be made in young peoples’ lives, earlier and for the better’, said Ms Siejka.

Every night 26,000 young people experience homelessness in Australia, but the problem is often hidden as many of these young people are not out on the streets but in ‘unsafe and unstable’ accommodation.

The NYCH is looking forward to working with Homelessness Australia (HA) but presently HA is still waiting to find out if it will be refunded after the middle of the year.  

For more information about the NYCH, go to the organisation’s website. 

Source:email from YNOT, 13 April 2023; Youth Homelessness Matters Day media statement, 14 April 2023.