About youth homelessness

It looks different than you might think.

Two young women with their arms around each other, smiling at camera.

According to Homelessness Australia, of the more than 116,000 homeless people in our country, 38 per cent are aged 12 to 24.

Our goal is to prevent young people aged between 16 and 22 who don’t have access to safe, stable accommodation from entering the cycle of homelessness.

In our society, there is a persistent image of youth homelessness as the teenager sleeping rough on city streets with nowhere else to go.

The less visible reality is that there are thousands of young people who are not yet homeless, but are living in homes that don’t provide the necessary physical or emotional safety. 

Living in homes where there is violence, addiction, overcrowding, abuse or poverty, these young people often don’t have anywhere to turn. In addition to crisis services being overwhelmed, many services aren’t available to young people living in these circumstances because they aren’t ‘officially’ homeless. 

Surviving not thriving

Whether it’s couch surfing or bunking with friends, young people at risk of homelessness will often find ways to stay away from home as much as possible, whilst also staying off the streets. But this doesn’t protect them from the complex issues they still face. 

Young people are vulnerable to this sort of disruption and often have higher rates of substance abuse, mental health issues, are less engaged at school and less likely to look after their physical health if they don’t feel safe at home. 

From the outside, what many people may see when they look at a young person at risk of homelessness is a difficult teenager. However, what these young people need most is to feel safe and supported.

Safety and hope

Providing a place of safety can help set young people experiencing such trauma on the path to discovering their strengths and goals and lead them towards a more hope-filled future. 

For the young people that come into our care, Horizon House provides safety and stability – a place to call home while they find their feet and figure out who they are and what they want to achieve. We support them to take the first steps towards starting a new chapter in their lives.