It’s a common misconception that homelessness is associated only with sleeping on the street. This isn’t the case. In fact, there are 3 levels of homelessness that people experience every day:
There are many circumstances that are out of a young person’s control, leaving them without a safe space to call their own. These might include:
The impact of experiencing homelessness is far reaching and varies significantly from person to person. The circumstances that lead to a person being without a home can have lasting effects, including:
Young people experiencing homelessness are more likely to enter the juvenile justice system. They can also be more likely to encounter homelessness long-term as an adult.
Homelessness is a complex issue. While accommodation and housing are crucial, this may only provide temporary relief if the underlying causes behind homelessness aren’t addressed. Services looking to stop homelessness from reoccurring include:
Our refuges offer a share-house type arrangement where young people stay for up to 6 weeks. In some instances, stays may be extended. This is on a case by case basis in consultation with a young person and their case plan.
Throughout their stay, a young person has their own support worker who works with them to find long-term accommodation.
It’s important to note that there are currently only 127 refuge beds in Victoria catering to young people — nowhere near the 6,000 beds we’d need to help every young person.
Referrals to refuges comes through housing access points.
Housing access points are located in main regions of Melbourne. They offer housing assistance services such as financial assistance and referrals into refuges and other types of housing.
Young people who can’t get placed into refuges or housing are set up in backpackers, cheap motels and caravan parks. This may provide a bed for the night, but with no onsite support it doesn’t help break the cycle.
Visit the DHHS website to find your local housing access points.
Everyone deserves a safe and happy home. To ensure this is the case, everyone needs to do their bit.
For people at risk of, or currently experiencing homelessness, prevention and quick assistance and support are key. Education about the types of support available need to be shared and easily accessed.
Connections to family need to be maintained wherever possible. We also encourage engagement with the community and support networks.
Of course, there are ways you can help. One of the quickest things you can do is start a conversation.
Awareness creates a massive impact and helps to get people involved in making a long-lasting change. Chat with family and friends, learn about it at school — then encourage others to do the same.
You can learn more about making an impact on our Community involvement page.