Know your stuff
On any given night, 105,000 people will be homeless in Australia
Despite popular belief, children are one of the largest groups of Australians experiencing homelessness.
In fact, children under the age of 18 make up 27% of people experiencing homelessness (over 26,000 people).
30% of children who are experiencing homelessness have left home due to family or domestic violence.
Children are almost always in a family group, most likely with a single mother.
Where are they?
39% of the homeless population (41,390 people) end up in severely overcrowded dwellings (e.g. 14 people living in a three bedroom home).
Over a quarter of this number are under the age of 12.
Australians are assisted by homelessness services each year, but an additional 154,000 requests are turned away
When my Mum and Dad broke up things were hard.
Mum and I fought alot, so I went to stay with Dad. It wasn’t long until Dad and I started fighting too. They gave me the choice of behaving or leaving. So I left.
I stayed at my friends houses, moving constantly. Every morning I would wake up not knowing where I’d sleep that night. Eventually, I lost contact with my friends. I was all alone.
It was hard to go to school. I never had the right books, my stuff was everywhere. Each day felt like a fight for survival. One day, someone told me about this homelessness service that helped teenagers, like me.
They gave me somewhere safe to sleep. For the first time I wasn’t scared that I would have to sleep on the street that night. They helped me get back to school and catch up on what I’d missed. Mum and I talk now, things are getting better.
I’m in year 12 this year and next year I want to go to uni to study social work – so I can help teenagers like me.
Mum and Dad fought a lot.
One night, it was really bad, the police came. Mum woke me up and we left and stayed in a hotel that night.
Mum and Dad broke up. Mum and I moved house. I had to change schools. I had to leave my dog.
We didn’t have enough money to buy school uniforms, or go on any excursions.
Mum was sad. That made me sad.
We had to move out of our house and moved into a homelessness shelter.
They helped buy school uniforms, and new books and pencils. They helped us buy a desk so I could do my homework.
They even helped Mum find a job. Now we have our own house.
Mum is happy. That makes me happy.
All the above information was sourced from Homelessness Australia. For more information about homelessness in Australia – visit their website at http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/fact-sheets