City to Street
Australia’s Homeless Youth

36,000 homeless youth aged 12 – 24 roam the streets on any given night. Why are so many kids on the streets? And why have they been left to defend for themselves?

Poverty is not something most would associate with Australia but in these extreme cases people live on an income classified below the poverty line. In 2008, The Henderson Poverty Line was set at $710 per week for 2 adults and 2 kids. According to the ABS nearly 30% of households lived off less than $600 per week. These figures take meaning when considered with the steep rise in rent, fuel and food over the years. A report conducted by the National Youth Commission noted other social conditions that cause homelessness, such as low wage jobs, high rents, mental health problems, alcoholism and family breakdown.

When you throw a mix of these elements into a family environment the pressures would escalate. Kids are expected to financially provide at a young age and the most lucrative opportunities usually lie in crime and drugs. Their presence at school diminishes as they have become reliant to care for siblings. It’s a vicious cycle that usually results in kids growing up little or no education. The tension at home reaches breaking point and the kids end up on the street. This video belowis just one example of this problem..

During Kevin 07’ reign considerable funds were allocated to a homeless strategy, named “The White Paper on Homelessness”. Strategies like this don’t take shape instantly, it’ll take up to 5 years to see effect so its hard to say whether the inititive has been successful thus far. The three key strategies were to:

  1. Improve homesless prevention
  2. Improving and expanding the service system
  3. Breaking cycle of homelessness

What do you think is the main prevention for homelessness?


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