Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2021 Today is Youth Homelessness Matters Day, and we know (perhaps more than most) that homelessness is still a very real problem. It is street homelessness, it's couch surfing, it's living in sheds, tents & squats, it's primary and secondary homelessness. And, it’s happening right now. Community and non profit organisations have existed for decades for this exact reason, but we need the government to step up and do more. Here at Youth Projects, our Youth in the North Outreach Program (YNOT) are working with more than 50 critically vulnerable young people - at least 5 of these young people are experiencing a form of homelessness right now. Furthermore, our Youth in Hume Program (YHOP) has already supported 70 young people this year in the city of Hume alone. Three quarters of these young people left school early, almost 80% are experiencing poor mental health and 1 in 5 are currently living in unsafe or unstable accommodation. Through specialised supports, our recently launched Mental Health and Off The Couch program(s), YHOP has been able to connect these young people to an additional 64 different services ranging from health to alcohol and other drug counselling, to housing and employment services to ensure each young person has the right supports in place to recover and decrease their risk of homelessness in the long-term. All of this coupled with our work supporting over 1,000 young people in employment, training, social enterprise and harm reduction. Young people face a multitude of challenges, many of which stem from a life of entrenched poverty, poor mental health and substance misuse. Further to our work and that of other like-organisations, what we need is a significant investment from all levels of government to support young people to get back on their feet post-COVID, whilst also backtracking to pick up the young folk left behind well before the pandemic. Youth Projects is a signatory to the Everybody’s Home Campaign and this year we are calling for the federal government to act in the 21/22 budget! The government needs to take action to help the one in six young people who have been homeless or are homeless right now. Everybody deserves a safe place to call home! That means access to high quality, safe and clean emergency accommodation, as well as longer term pathways to social housing, affordable housing, public housing or support in the private rental market. We are calling on the government too: Increase young people’s Youth Allowance and Rent Assistance Partner with the States to build more social housing Create a youth homelessness strategy to invest in the support young people need to recover and to stay connected to education Young people in Australia need your support to know a better future is possible. Join us in calling on the government to do MORE. Sign the petition today: https://everybodyshome.com.au/yhmd/ If you want to do more, please donate to Youth Projects to help us continue delivering high impact support, without judgement for thousands of young people each year.