Youth Homelessness Matters Day held every April 13th, is the annual national awareness day for youth homelessness in Australia. It’s a day of learning and understanding. Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) has been an exciting campaign since its inception in 1990. Started by a group of social advocates who believed that too many young people were moving out of home with no where to go, the day has since grown into a national celebration of young people’s resilience.
Youth homelessness is something that affects most people, whether it’s a parent who lets their child’s friend crash on the couch for a couple of nights, or an Aunty who hears of her nephew being kicked out. Yet many people don’t know the full extent of the impact this issue has on our young people or what to do to help. While “Youth Refuges” and special youth accommodation have been set up to address the problem, there are often not enough places available in these, which can lead to a teen or young person being forced to move away from their home town. Others feel afraid of getting in with a “bad crowd” and end up homeless rather than entering accommodation situations which could be extremely negative.
This campaign aims to address these problems. We’ll probably never live in a society where no young person has to leave home early (although that would be nice) and we are aware of the fact that family breakdown is sometimes inevitable. However, young people should not have to face homelessness and discrimination when their home life doesn’t work out. They shouldn’t be faced with a life of disadvantage, just because they were dealt a bad hand and born to imperfect parents or a broken family. Youth Homelessness Matters Day aims to raise awareness, in hopes of creating brighter futures for young people who have faced homelessness. Hopes are that they will, through being empowered and given opportunities, believe that they can become whatever they put their minds to… and become it!
We at The Forever Years commend Australia for acknowledging this problem, celebrating the resilience of youth and young people and creating this important day. Youth Homelessness exists world wide… wouldn’t be great if this day became recognised on an international level, spreading global awareness of this important issue?