About Youth Homelessness Matters Day
Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) is a national campaign, held annually since 1990, aimed at raising awareness of youth homelessness amongst decision makers and the wider community. YHMD is a project of the National Youth Coalition for Housing.
Each year the campaign culminates in an awareness day for youth homelessness, traditionally held in the middle of Youth Week in April.
Find out more in the YHMD 2018 Campaign Kit!
Three things to know about #YHMD
#1. It’s a national campaign to raise awareness and support young people at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing homelessness
#2. It’s a call out to everyone, especially those who believe in the power of community, to take action, to publicly state that youth homelessness matters and should be prevented
#3. The time to take action is Youth Homelessness Matters Day on Wednesday 18 April for 2018
The 2018 YHMD campaign statement:
More than 28, 000 young Australians do not have a home. In most instances, they do not have a home because they are escaping conflict and violence. They find it almost impossible to find a home because of the housing affordability crisis in Australia.
The vast majority of young people experiencing homelessness are hidden from view in refuges, couch surfing situations and sleeping in cars with their family, but their experience is very real.
Youth homelessness is a national disgrace. To end youth homelessness we need a national plan.
Pitifully low Youth Allowance payments, rising rents inflated by the housing crisis, insufficient supports for young people leaving state care and a lack of employment pathways for vulnerable youth have all combined to create a perfect storm in which young people are increasingly likely to fall into homelessness.
This Youth Homelessness Matters Day we are calling on political leaders to commit to a national plan to tackle the homelessness amongst young Australians.
A national plan to end youth homelessness would address the systemic issues that drive and exacerbate youth homelessness, including:
- Family violence
- Access to affordable housing
- Youth justice
- Young people on custody orders
- A housing guarantee for young people leaving care
- Young people leaving care
- Child protection
- Youth unemployment
2018 YHMD Campaign Kit coming soon!
#1 Ensure that young people have greater access to support and services
Young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness need access to supportive and well-resourced services which work with them in establishing foundations on which they can build a stable future. These services can be tasked with the provision of ensuring health and wellbeing, safety and stability, re-engagement and participation with education and employment services.
#2 Break Stereotypes
The aim of this campaign is to break the common stereotypes that are associated with youth homelessness, and the young people who experience disadvantage. The stigma attached to homelessness often prevents many young people from seeking help. As such, Youth Homelessness Matters Day aims to raise awareness that youth homelessness stereotypes are not accurate, and instead there needs to be more focus on recognising the signs of homelessness so there can be less shame and more productive help available.
#3 Engage with Government and Business
The campaign also aims to engage government and corporate sectors to resource specialist youth homelessness services, also known as youth refuges or shelters, which provide young people with the help they need in order to get back on their feet.
Finding Help If You Are Homeless
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, or is at risk of experiencing homelessness you can find details on how to seek help here.