‘Youth Homelessness Matters Day’ Part of National Youth Week
Australia (News4us.com) April 06, 2011
As part of National Youth Week today will mark Youth Homelessness Matters Day highlighting the problem of youth homelessness and acknowledging that individuals, governments and business all have a role to play in tackling this serious issue.
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib said across Australia there were more than 44,000 people under 25 experiencing homelessness and Youth Homelessness Matters Day was an opportunity for all Australians to recognise the extent of the problem. “The theme for this year’s Youth Homelessness Matters Day is Hide and Seek – the Hidden Nature of Homelessness,” Senator Arbib said.
“Close to half of Australia’s homeless population is under the age of 25. They are not necessarily living on the streets but could be couch surfing at friends’ homes, or sleeping in shelters. “This day is about recognising that youth homelessness is a problem and governments at all levels, as well as private industry, need to maintain the momentum to ensure that fewer young Australians end up on the street.”
Senator Arbib today joined Yfoundations in Surry Hills to encourage all Australians to get involved and increase the community’s awareness of the extent of youth homelessness. “Organisations such as Yfoundations provide an invaluable service to young Australians at risk of entering a lifelong cycle of homelessness,” Senator Arbib said.
“The Federal Government, together with the States and Territories, has committed $1.1 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to directly reduce the number of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness across the country.” Through the Reconnect program 105 providers across Australia play an important role in reducing homelessness for young people aged 12 to 18 years through early intervention services.
“The Australian Government supports Reconnect providers with about $48 million over 2 years to provide counseling, group work, family mediation and practical support to young people,” Senator Arbib said. “Young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are assisted by Reconnect to access the right services to help them improve their engagement with family, education, training, employment and the community.”
Senator Arbib said as part of our White Paper, the Australian Government is taking an innovative approach to addressing youth homelessness. “Since 2008 the Australian Government has committed almost $5 billion in additional funding to tackling homelessness, a record investment by a Federal Government,” Senator Arbib said.
“We are delivering more than 190 new and expanded initiatives across the country including 55 initiatives in NSW including support for young people who leave the juvenile justice system, young Indigenous parents to maintain their rental tenancies and for young people transitioning to independence.”
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