Youth Homelessness

  • In Australia on any given night, there are over 43,000 young people aged under 24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
  • For the 12 – 25 age group, there are over 27,000 young people experiencing homelessness.
  • Young people make up 24% of the homeless population
  • Youth homelessness rose 26% from 2006-2016
  • Someone is considered to be homeless if they are have no roof over their head (on the streets, parks, squats, etc), or have no permanent or safe place to live.
  • The most common form of homelessness for young people is overcrowded houses.
  • For young people the most common reasons for becoming homeless are housing crisis, family violence or a relationship or family breakdown. In both of these cases they can no longer live in the family home. Other pathways can be mental illness, substance use and financial difficulties.
  • Young women have the highest rates of need from homelessness services, with one in 42 women falling into this category.
  • Young people who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience homelessness and continue the intergenerational high rates of unemployment and disadvantage.
  • Young people experiencing homelessness are much more likely to experience anxiety and depression and the longer someone experiences homelessness, the more likely they will develop severe and persistent states of mental illness
  • Young people from refugee backgrounds are at least six times more likely to become homeless
  • Once homeless, young lesbian and gay people frequently experience both direct homophobia in the form of harassment and abuse within housing services, and indirect discrimination as their needs are ignored or neglected within services.
  • Young people who are exiting out of home care are particularly at risk, with up to 40 per cent transitioning into homelessness.

Click here to read Homelessness Australia's fact sheet on youth homelessness.