A new report has found the alarming amount of young Queenslanders that have been plunged into homelessness during the pandemic.
Almost one in 20 Queensland youth aged 15 to 19 have become homeless for the first time, or 5.4%.
The concerning figures from Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2021 show that this number has jumped significantly.
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Queensland Mission Australia State Director Stephen Vines said the figures are distressing.
“While many of us were fortunate enough to take sanctuary in safe, secure homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, one in 20 young people in QLD were plunged into homelessness for the first time in their lives is an unacceptable figure,” Mr Vines says.
“This report shows just how harmful the experience of youth homelessness can be for a young person’s wellbeing, their life and their future.”
Young people who recently faced youth homelessness during COVID-19 experienced high levels of psychological distress, negative impacts on wellbeing, family conflict and discrimination.
“It’s clear that for young people, homelessness can often be incredibly isolating, destabilising and traumatic,”
“This can have a ripple effect on their lives without access to the right intervention.”
Nationwide, the pandemic figures are equally as troubling, with one in 20 of youth experiencing homelessness for the first time.
The figures have seen a steady jump from 3.9% of Australian youths in 2017 to 4.8% now.
In response to the findings, Mission Australia says more must be done to improve the wellbeing and address the concerns raised by young people who are homeless.
“The need for a comprehensive approach to end youth homelessness in Australia has never been more urgent,”
“Early intervention is key and we urge governments and others to take action so young people are adequately supported to avoid homelessness, reach their full potential and thrive.”
These young Australians were first-time homeless either with or without their families, and recently spent time without a fixed address, living in a refuge or transitional accommodation, or spent time away from home because they felt they couldn’t go back.
The Mission Australia Youth Survey 2021 was conducted between April and August 2021.