Homelessness in the Pandemic – Youth Homelessness

Before COVID – 19, there were thousands of people sleeping rough each night. In Australia, one of the emergency measures, across most capital cities, was to get homeless people off the street and into hotel and motel rooms. As an emergency measure, it was as much about protecting this highly vulnerable population as about protecting the rest of the community from potential large community spread. The action has been lauded as highly successful some even suggested it proves that homelessness is solvable.

Vacant hotel rooms are not always a suitable, or even desirable option, especially for young people under the age of 18 years. You cannot just put a young person 15, 16 or 17 years of age in a hotel room on their own, especially in hotels/motels filled with a range of homeless adults.

These young people have likely recently been through some recent traumatic events such as losing their jobs and/or housing or being forced to leave home due to family violence. Putting these youth in isolation in a hotel room for a few months is unlikely to end with a great mental health outcome.

Young people do not usually find themselves on the street immediately but couch surf with friends or relatives. This is now a much less likely option for them but sleeping on the streets poses even higher risks. Young people are at much greater risk of being disadvantaged by the pandemic and economic downturn and youth homelessness is likely to increase. Where will they go?
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2 months ago

Lisa MacLeod - Author

This goes without sayingWhilst young people in the general community continue living with their parents to an average age of 23 to 24, those who have been in care are forced to rely on the kindness of foster carers or try their luck with housing systems. CREATE and our partners in the #makeit21 campaign are calling on all state and territory governments to enshrine in law the right of young people to have a placement supported within the care system until 21 years of age.

As advocates for the young people they work with every day, care sector staff such as Matthew Armstrong are standing up and having their voice heard in this campaign. With over 20 years experience in supporting children and young people in care, including developing a range of transition from care practice resources , Matt is a passionate supporter of #makeit21. Thanks to Matt and all of the other care sector workers standing up in support of the #makeit21 campaign!

Learn more: ow.ly/xch550B59sY

#advocacy
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2 months ago

Lisa MacLeod - Author

Homelessness in the Pandemic – Street Homelessness

Pre-pandemic Australia there was a housing and homelessness crisis that all levels of government, and the community, failed to acknowledge or address. The causes are and include a lack of affordable housing rental options, low levels of social security payments leaving large numbers of individuals and families living in poverty, the casualisation and increasingly insecure nature of the workforce and high rates of family violence and break up.

Before COVID – 19, there were thousands of people sleeping rough each night. In Australia, one of the emergency measures, across most capital cities, was to get homeless people off the street and into hotel rooms, motels and empty student accommodation. As an emergency measure, it was as much about protecting this highly vulnerable population as about protecting the rest of the community from potential large community spread. The action has been lauded as highly successful. Proponents of Housing First models have even suggested it proves that homelessness is solvable; all we need to do is get homeless people off the street and into permanent housing.

One big problem is where to from here? Where do we find more permanent options? There is still an inadequate social housing sector, with waiting times often 5 to 10 years for a property and shortages of affordable rental options. What happens to these people next -they can hardly be returned to the streets? What happens when the pandemic and related economic downturn put more and more people into rental stress, poverty, chronic overcrowding in poor households and situations of high family stress and increasing violence. What happens for those homeless where hotel and similar accommodation is not appropriate?
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5 months ago

Lisa MacLeod - Author

Normal young teenager becomes homeless because of failures in the child protection system. How will one so young survive on her own? ... See MoreSee Less

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6 months ago

Lisa MacLeod - Author

One day to youth homelessness matters day #YHMD2020 ... See MoreSee Less

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6 months ago

Lisa MacLeod - Author

9,000 in NSW alone. Youth homelessness matters ... See MoreSee Less

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6 months ago

Lisa MacLeod - Author

Youth Homelessness Matters ... See MoreSee Less

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