On any given night in Australia 105,000 people experience homelessness which indicates 1 in 200 people are homeless. 25% of this staggering statistic comprises of young people aged between 12-24 years.

It is estimated as many as 150 young people are homeless every night across the Port Macquarie Hastings local government area alone. It is believed family breakdown and severe overcrowding, as a result of upward pressure on the cost of housing, contribute to these alarming local and national trends in homelessness.

Youth Housing Support (YHS), a specialist youth homeless service auspiced by Community housing Ltd, is working with other Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) to participate in Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) – a national day of local events across Australia that aims to:

  • raise awareness on youth homelessness;
  • celebrate the resilience of homeless youth;
  • provide opportunities for public support for the ‘cause’; and
  • to garner more political support.

“YHMD aims to communicate that, with good support and appropriate accommodation, young people can move forward and live their lives productively. Homeless youth are known as the ‘hidden homeless’ as they may occupy a bed provided by an SHS or spend their nights on a couch at someone else’s place – a relative, a friend, or even a stranger – the ‘couch surfers’.

YHMD hopes to be a sobering reminder that youth homelessness is real, is painful, is tragic and is unacceptable, but that if we come together as a community we can have a greater impact”, says Peter Carnaby, Youth Housing Support (YHS) Coordinator.

The YHMD Event Committee are organising 3 activities to raise awareness, engage the wider community in discussions about ending youth homelessness and to provide opportunities to get involved practically. The activities include:

  • 7 days of Couch Surfing (starts 2/4/14) – participants will get a small taste of what it’s like to be homelessness, while trying to get on with their usual activities. Participants will record their highs and lows through a series of ‘selfie’ videos and upload them to our Facebook Event (Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2014)
  • Q&A discussion Forum (9/4/14) – interact with a panel of experts over the issue of youth homelessness and help inform strategies to respond to the issue. The forum will run from 5pm to 7pm in the Rydges conference room. The highlight will be a personal story of triumph from someone who has spent the last 3 years in and out of homelessness
  • Public Sleepout & live youth entertainment (9/4/14) – be entertained by young musicians as they perform acoustic numbers, enjoy a sausage sizzle, then sleep rough on Town Green to help raise money and awareness (over 18’s only, unless accompanied by an adult)

“So come and participate in one of the activities at YHMD and see that homeless youth are not helpless – they are resourceful, resilient, determined and many go on to become successful members of the community”, says Mr Carnaby.


Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness, 2012

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Specialist Homelessness Services 2012-13, 2013


Community Housing Limited (CHL) is a national and international provider of affordable housing. Its mission is ‘to provide affordable and sustainable housing for all’. CHL is a registered Housing organisation in Victoria and Queensland and a growth provider in NSW, Tasmania, WA and SA. Its international operations are located in Timor Leste, Chile, and India. Winner of various Industry Awards including HIA and United Nations Association of Australia and CHL has seven offices in NSW including four all across the Mid North Coast.

Youth Housing Support (YHS) is a Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS), auspiced by Community Housing Ltd, working with young people between 16-25 years of age who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Port Macquarie Hastings area. YHS assists young people to secure tenancies with CHL and in the private market and provides case management support to empower them to live independently. YHS also supports young people with early intervention strategies to prevent homelessness. YHS employs preventative strategies and intervenes early to bring about sustainable change in the lives of young people at risk. YHS also provides supported transitional accommodation through its parent company, Community Housing Ltd, a national social housing provider.


For more information on CHL and YHS contact:

Preeti Daga

Executive Officer– Marketing and Public Relations

t   03 9856 0021            m 0430 555 241

e preeti.daga@chl.org.au

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