Homelessness can affect any young person
There is a variety of reasons why children and young people become homeless that are often outside their control. The general view is that young people experiencing homelessness are run-aways and could really return home if they wanted to. In reality, many young people become homeless due to family breakdown, family violence and child abuse.
In 2020–2021, 31% of young people experiencing homelessness identified interpersonal relationship problems, including family violence and relationship breakdown, as the primary reason for becoming homeless. The next most common reasons were: experiencing a housing crisis (18%) and living in inadequate accommodation such as overcrowded housing (12%).
Many young people find it difficult to be approved for leases due to the high demand on rental properties and discrimination against young people. Issues around overcrowding and the cost of housing also cause young people to become homeless.
Homelessness affects all groups of people and we know that young people who are Indigenous, are from a single or blended family, have been homeless as a child, or have been in statutory care, are at greater risk of homelessness.
The community needs to stop judging young people experiencing homelessness as delinquent, and create opportunities for young people to not become homeless or to access long-term housing.