Youth Homelessness Matters Day
Youth homelessness matters. According to the latest ABS Census figures, 42% of Australians experiencing homelessness are under 25 years old and 70% of 12-25-year olds have left home to escape violence, abuse or family breakdown. Youth homelessness is also underestimated due to the nature of how the Census is administered.
Visibility and support for young people at risk of and experiencing homelessness is more important than ever. We give a special focus to youth homelessness in April during Victorian Youth Week 2019 from 5-14 April, and Youth Homelessness Matters Day (#YHMD2019) on Wednesday 17 April. The national #YHMD campaign has been held by the National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH) annually since 1990 and is aimed at raising awareness of youth homelessness amongst decision makers and the wider community.
Launch Housing’s Services for Youth
Launch Housing continuously seeks to provide innovative responses to youth homelessness by increasing the reach and quality of our services for young people, as well as making improvements based on what works.
(Young person from Education First Youth Foyers)
The Homeless Children’s Specialist Support Service (HCSSS) at Launch Housing’s South Melbourne office supports children (up to 15 years old) and their families who are experiencing homelessness and/or dealing with family violence. HCSSS is a broad service which aims to help children reconnect with education, overcome trauma, build resilience and improve their long term outcomes. HCSSS includes access to education pathways, educational assessments, access to psychologists, intensive case management, case planning and a group work program.
Already, the philanthropically funded Education Pathways Program, which is part of the service offered by the HCSSS, has enabled 182 children to re-engage with their education.
Launch Housing’s youth-specific site in South Yarra offers support to young people aged 16-25 who are either unable to live at home or are experiencing difficulties maintaining housing.
In 2016-17, we supported 231 people, a majority of whom were aged 18-24 years.
The site provides a Life and Living Skills program facilitating activities which focus on building health, wellbeing and independent living skills. The program enables young people to learn a range of practical skills, explore new interests and engage positively with one another.
We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from the young people engaging with the program who talk about building their confidence, making friends and learning important skills to maintain balanced healthy lives.
Education First Youth Foyers
Launch Housing in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) established two Education First Youth Foyers (EFYF) in 2014. The first of their kind in Victoria, EFYFs provide young people aged 15 to 26 with access to accommodation, education, training and employment.
The Foyers are based on an innovative model that originated in the UK, resulting in more than 75% of people who leave the program becoming engaged in employment or further education, or both.
Our foyers are based at Holmesglen Institute’s Waverley campus and the Kangan Institute, Broadmeadows.
Since 2014 the Foyers have led to improved education, housing and employment outcomes:
- 81% of participants have completed a Certificate I course
- Year 12 completions increased from 33% at baseline to 43% at exit
- Reduction in those in crisis accommodation from 32% to 1%
- Substantial increase in those living in their own home from 5% to 41%
- Participants engaged in full-time employment increased from 1% to 11%
We’re proud of the progress we have made in innovating services to support young people experiencing homelessness.
To show your support in Youth Week 2019, you can support the #YHMD campaign by liking their Facebook page, sharing stories of youth homelessness from the page or even holding an awareness event in your community. For more information on this national campaign see: Youth Homelessness Matters Day.
Further information on Launch Housing’s Youth Programs is available below:
Homeless Children Specialist Support Service (HCSSS)
Team Leader HCSSS phone: 8626 5515
Education First Youth Foyer at Holmesglen Institute
Phone: 9564 6488
Education First Youth Foyer at Kangan Institute
Phone: 9309 3946