Youth homelessness matters because youth matter.
We started For Change Co. back in 2014 because we were a group of young people who saw, and could not unsee, the injustices of society on other young people our age who were experiencing homelessness. To many of us, it’s something that we take for granted – being housed. We simply trust that a home will be there for us whenever we need it, and rarely think twice about it. Imagine, not being able to trust in this thought. Imagine having to worry everyday about where you are going to sleep that night, what you are going to eat, who is going to support you when you need it. And imagine having to worry about all of this when you are a young person.
It makes my blood boil to think that we allow young people to worry about this in our country. To force them away from thinking about their education, their future, their dreams and opportunities. To not allow them the comfort to know that they will be supported, whatever happens. At For Change Co., we see homelessness as a state that a young person most often finds themselves in due to a series of life circumstances that are out of control. To hand control back to that young person, we see young people beginning to thrive and to dream again. We see young people come into themselves, to grow into who they want to be and let go of the label of ‘homelessness’ and the challenges that life has dealt them. We see young people enter education, go into permanent employment, find private rentals, form new friendships, contribute to other not-for-profit organisations and be a part of changing the community around them. This is why youth homelessness matters. Because young people, especially those who have faced tough challenges in their young lives, truly matter. Because these young people give back to their communities, have so much goodness to share and have the absolute right, as we all do, to live life freely and to be in control of their own fate.
Join with us this Youth Homelessness Matters Day to show your support and care for young people across Australia and to remind all young people that they truly matter. Check out some of our favourite other organisations working with us to create pathways out of homelessness for young people to grow your understanding and connection, and to help us make a difference. We love the work of: Launch Housing, Melbourne City Mission, Wombat Housing, Bridge It, HoMie, Streat and YMCA Rebuild, just to name a few!
And remember, youth homelessness matters every single day.
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