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Youth Housing Support (YHS) is a specialist homelessness service working with young people 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Port Macquarie Hastings area. It is auspiced by Community Housing Limited (CHL) who is a leading provider of affordable housing across Australia and internationally.

YHS is an active member of Hastings Youth Workers Network (HYWN) which is an association of over 50 different service providers in the Hastings Port Macquarie area working diligently to improve life for young people, including those who are homeless.

Every night across Australia upto 110,000 people are homeless and nearly half of these are young people and children under 25. On the Mid North Coast of NSW it is believed that as many as 150 young people are homeless on any given night.

To raise awareness on this issue the Hastings Youth Workers Network (HYWN), a group of dedicated youth workers across the Port Macquarie Hastings area organised local events on Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) on April 10th at the Town Green in Port Macquarie.

YHMD is a national day of local events across Australia that aims to raise awareness about youth homelessness; celebrate the resilience of young people; provide opportunities for public support for the ‘cause’; and to garner more political support for youth homelessness. Leslie Williams, Member for Port Macquarie and Peter Besseling Mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council attended the events to provide support and raise awareness on Youth Homelessness.

“YHMD aims to communicate that, with good support and accommodation assistance; young people can move forward and live their lives productively. These homeless youth are not the typical “street kids” that appear in the media, but rather those occupying a bed in a specialist homelessness service or those sleeping on a friends couch – referred to as “couch surfers. YHMD hopes to be a sobering reminder that youth homelessness is real, is painful, is tragic and is unacceptable”, says Peter Carnaby, Youth Housing Support (YHS) Coordinator.

YHMD Event Committee comprising of HYWN workers organised a range of activities to raise awareness, as well as engaging the wider community in discussions based on youth homelessness. The activities included:

  • •    An orienteering exercise where participants played a homeless young person attempting to secure temporary accommodation for the night. This activity aimed at engaging politicians, CEO’s and local celebrities to experience a day in the life of a homeless young person.
  • •    Team “Bed and Couch” races: It was a fun activity drawing attention to the large number of homeless young people “couch surfing”.
  • •    Overnight “Sleep Out” to experience what is like to be sleeping rough.

More than 100 people from all age groups participated in the Day’s activities.


 For more information on CHL, contact:

Preeti Daga

Media and Communications Coordinator

t   03 9856 0050

m 0430 555 241


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