HYPA #TwoFeet EOFY Appeal shows what youth homelessness in SA looks like
13 Jun 2017
The 2017 HYPA #TwoFeet End of Financial Year campaign has begun! The appeal is raising funds for youth homelessness services so we can help more young people on their path to independence and prosperity.
We are excited to be supported by Harvey Norman Bedding, AH Beard and Sleepmaker who have kicked it off with a donation of 12 beds and linen packs, worth nearly $8000.
SYC has been offering homelessness services to young people in South Australia since 1958. We see first-hand the positive effect early intervention and wrap-around support services make in the lives of young people who are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness. With demand for our services increasing we need extra support to help all the young people we see.
Youth homelessness refers to young people, aged 15-25, experiencing unstable housing arrangements. Not all homeless people live on the streets, many stay with family, friends and associates, which is colloquially referred to as ‘couch surfing’. Although this sounds harmless these temporary living arrangements deny young people stability and can often lead to sleeping on the streets. The 2015-16 AIHW Report showed 9,112 young South Australians sought homelessness support services in the space of a year.
Young people don’t choose to be homeless. The majority are forced to leave their homes due to domestic violence situations, financial hardship, rejection from their parents and mental health issues. Many also leave to escape a dysfunctional family situation affected by drugs and alcohol. Young people facing homelessness are also at a greater risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. The Cost of Youth Homelessness Report (2016) found that over one third of the homeless young people they surveyed reported that violence in the home had reached the point where police had to be called while 63% of those surveyed had been placed in some form of out-of-home care by the time that they had turned 18, highlighting the severity of this issue.
Homelessness is a difficult pathway to exit from, but it is imperative these young people connect with positive networks and services early to avoid them taking on a ‘homeless’ identity. Without this connection and intervention a young person who experiences homelessness is much more likely to experience homelessness as an adult.
SYC has a long-standing commitment to helping young people exit homelessness and put them onto a long-term path of independence and prosperity. In 2016 HYPA supported 3,600 people through housing supports services and these numbers trebled from the previous year.
The economic cost of homelessness is significant. If we are able to transition a young person from a position of homelessness to stable accommodation, there is a lifetime benefit to the community of approximately $457,000 per person. This does not take into account the financial contributions they would make as active members of the community. On an annual basis it is estimated between $2,412,180 and $3,983,175 could be saved in homelessness related health, justice and welfare costs.
A solution for youth homelessness isn’t as simple as offering accommodation. In order to create long-term prosperity for these young people HYPA offers support in the areas of home, wellbeing, learning and working. This holistic approach creates a path for young people to become active and engaged members of the community.
HYPA services are funded partly through government and also self-funded means. Due to our increased demand we are increasingly reliant on corporate and individual philanthropy. The #TwoFeet EOFY Appeal is a critical aspect of our annual funding sources to support young people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Donating isn’t just about supporting an individual – our approach is about doing something that supports families, communities and generations to come.
Visit www.syc.net.au/donate to find out more information, or make a tax deductible donation of any amount to help young people stand on their own #TwoFeet.