Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

HELPING THE HOMELESS Youth Homelessness: The Valley's Invisible Problem; Youth Homelessness Remains a Constant Problem in the Valley, and One That Often Goes Unnoticed

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

HELPING THE HOMELESS Youth Homelessness: The Valley's Invisible Problem; Youth Homelessness Remains a Constant Problem in the Valley, and One That Often Goes Unnoticed

Article excerpt

Byline: Jarrard Potter @dailyexaminer.com.au

NEARLY every morning when Salvation Army Major Colin Young walks or rides his bike, he can see Grafton's invisible youth homelessness problem.

"It's an older vehicle, it's a vehicle absolutely crammed full of stuff, and most of the time, you can tell it's a young person because of the red p-plates," Major Young said.

"By the time most people start to function, these people who are sleeping in their car have slipped back into normal society. They're up at the mall or done something else, they're not in the park any more, so these homeless people slip back into normal activity."

In the two-and-a-half years Major Young has been working in Grafton, he said youth homelessness has been a constant problem, and one that often goes unnoticed.

"People might think of homelessness as the people with their sleeping bags on the street, but you don't see that here as much, and that's not what homelessness is any more," he said.

CONTINUED PAGE 8

The invisible problem of youth homelessness is an issue The Salvation Army is fighting with its latest initiative called The Couch Project.

Research shows that almost half of Australia's 105,000 homeless people are under the age of 25, with just 3% of youth homelessness actually sleeping on the street, with many taking refuge on a couch or in a car, and experience homelessness through ways hidden from sight of many in the public.

"People try to do whatever they can do so they're not sleeping on the street, because its just not safe," Major Young said.

"Typically what happens with young people when they've got to get out of home for whatever reason they end up at a friends place, and the couch surfing starts.

"As a community, we need to raise awareness of the problem. We're not immune to this, because we live in the country. These young people still suffer from family violence issues, they still suffer from housing crises."

Major Young said the problem is made worse by a lack of affordable housing, and once a young person is homeless, it can be hard to recover. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.