Helping young people escape homelessness
Young people like 15-year-old Moon, experienced homelessness for the first time during the pandemic. Triggered largely by domestic and family violence, youth homelessness can have devastating impacts on a young person’s development and well-being later in life.
Thanks to our generous supporters, services like our Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS)* in Western Australia, continue to help young people like Moon, break the cycle of homelessness and step towards an independent future.
Homeless at 15: Moon’s story
When COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns were announced, it forced some young people like Moon, to spend more time in difficult home situations.
Moon, a 15-year-old from Perth, experienced homelessness for four months in 2021.
"Because of being stuck at home, more situations would happen that would make me want to not be at home," says Moon.
"I think that it's a struggle for a lot of people that needed support, and those times they were forced to leave their families because everyone's stuck at home."
Moon encountered homeless for the first time in 2021. After running away from home, Moon resorted to sleeping on couches at different friend’s houses. Some homes were nice others turned out to be abusive.
"I felt lucky that I had my friends to stay with because I was going to sleep in a car park," says Moon.
"I felt also unlucky that my other friends couldn't let me stay in their houses, but it was when school was just starting … they didn't want to have me in the house for school."
Sometimes when Moon couldn’t stay with friends, Moon resorted to sleeping in an acquaintance’s car.
When Moon reached out to Mission Australia, our DAYS team in Perth offered the teen a short stay in our residential service.
Moon stayed in the temporary facility for two weeks before moving into a permanent place to call home.
Youth homelessness in Australia
Results from our recent Youth Survey, that collected responses from 20,000 young people between 15-19 years, reveal distressing facts about youth homelessness:
- The survey found 1 in 20 respondents had been homeless for the first time during the pandemic
- Young people affected by homelessness reported poor mental health and psychological distress
- In Western Australia, over five per cent of young people said they had become homeless for the first time during the pandemic.
Read more about youth homelessness during the pandemic here.
*DAYS is the only youth-specific withdrawal and respite service in WA, funded by Mission Australia supporters.
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