Despite the millions that have been invested in tackling homelessness, challenges remain. In fact, there seems to be more ways to be homeless than every before:
- We live in overcrowded housing, sharing rooms with extended families and even strangers
- We avoid the dangers of rough sleeping by couchsurfing and staying with friends a few nights at a time
- We huddle in boarding houses and supported accommodation when we can find a place
- We sleep rough.
Imagining a different future for young people
Imagine for a moment what it is like to do this. Think of the stress and anxiety that comes with not having a safe place to rest at the end of the day.
And then imagine that you are a young person.
The simple fact is that youth homelessness is rising. The CHP fact sheet reveals that youth homelessness has increased 26% from 2006-2016. And more recent figures confirm this worrying trend.
The group experiencing the highest rate of homelessness is young people – check out that peak – twice as high as the average; and increasing Census to Census #EverybodysHome #EndYouthHomelessness @GJohnsonRMIT pic.twitter.com/GqaOJ1OlTe
— Kate Colvin (@ColvinKate) March 18, 2019
The thing about homelessness is that it often combines other challenges. For example, if you are homeless, it’s likely that you have experienced family and domestic violence, have (or will develop) mental health issues and experience financial exclusion and poverty. These create the conditions for a difficult downwards spiral that well-supported adults struggle to deal with. A young person may never find their way to a more stable future.
Think about the young people in your life. Think about the young people you pass in the street. Help us imagine a different future for them.
What you can do
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Vibewire was established with the belief that young people should create, not inherit the future. And our Hacks4Impact are designed to put power, choice and decision making into the hands (and minds) of young people. In April 2019, we are calling on the hackers, hipsters, hustlers and humanitarians to help us develop new solutions to homelessness. We know that what we have on offer are not working – and we need to start somewhere. That somewhere is the MnM Institute on 5-7 April. Join us we make a difference.