The national Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) campaign aims to raise the public’s awareness about youth homelessness and to celebrate the resilience of young people who are experiencing homelessness in Australia.
YHMD is an annual event conducted by the National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH), a national body formed to end youth homelessness and create youth housing solutions.
Today in Sydney we launched YHMD 2011. The theme for this year is ‘Hide and Seek – the hidden nature of youth homelessness’ to reflect that many young people who are homeless are not rough sleeping. “Most youth homelessness is invisible”, says Maria Leebeek.
It may surprise people in our community that nearly half of the 105,000 Australians who are homeless on any given night are under the age of 25. That’s 44,500 young Australians whom are without safe, secure shelter.
This Youth Homelessness Matters Day the National Youth Coalition for Housing is pleased to announce a partnership with Virgin Unite (the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group) that will allow us to hear directly from young people about their experiences.
‘We want to stop youth homelessness being hidden and the Virgin Unite competition will provide the opportunity for young people to tell their stories” says Maria Leebeek.
These stories will give a face to the statistics but can also help us as a community consider what they can do.
Ending youth homelessness is everyone’s business and we hope that the new national campaign encourages people to share in this vision and to reflect on how they can help.