Crisis Within a Crisis: How the pandemic has exacerbated young people experiencing homelessness.
Young people experiencing homelessness is a significant concern in Australia. Family breakdown, financial hardship, and mental health issues are common factors that have contributed to rising rates over previous decades. Without access to stable housing, young people face significant challenges in accessing education, employment, and healthcare. But since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges have intensified dramatically.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in the decade between 2006 and 2016, the rate of young people experiencing homelessness rose from 0.7% to 0.8% (18,500 - 24,200).
Recent findings from Mission Australia’s annual Youth Survey released in July 2022 reveal a sharp increase with figures from their survey of over 20,000 people jumping from 1 in 25 young people experiencing homelessness in 2017, to 1 in 20 during the peak period of the pandemic, an increase of 1% in just 3 years.
Domestic violence is also a significant factor contributing to young people experiencing homelessness, with almost half of Mission Australia’s respondents revealing concern about family conflict and over a quarter fearing family violence.
Addressing youth homelessness requires a comprehensive approach that involves providing affordable housing, support services, and education and employment opportunities to help young people overcome the barriers to achieving independence and stability.
You can read Mission Australia’s report here: