Homeless Young Australians

22 000 teenagers are homeless every night in Australia

The number of homeless young people aged 12 to 18 decreased from 26,060 in census week 2001 to 21,940 in 2006. The number of homeless young people was down in all states and territories except Western Australia where there was an increase from 3,508 to 4,280.

A person is considered to be homeless in Australia if they:

  • Do not have access to safe, secure adequate housing, or, if the only housing they have access to damages, or is likely to damage, their health
  • Are in circumstances which threaten or adversely affect the adequacy, safety, security or affordability of their home
  • Have no security of tenure – that is, they have no legal right to continued occupation of their home.

43% of the Australian homeless population are babies, children and youth under the age of 25. A particularly common form of youth homelessness in Australia is “couch surfing” whereby the homeless person relies on the support of friends to sleep on their couch or floor. Relationship breakdown and family conflict are often cited as common instigators of youth homelessness.

According to figures collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2006 there were 20,511 homeless people in Victoria.

If you would like to help homeless teenagers you can donate to the Salvation army at www.salvationarmy.org.au