There is so much you can do to help end youth homelessness and show that you care. All support is welcome and makes a real difference.
How you can help?
YPS has a very strong belief that it takes a community to make a difference to youth homelessness and to the lives of our children/young people. YPS cannot respond to or solve youth homelessness in our area alone- we need the help of our community members, local business, Local Government & our State & Federal Politicians.
Yet, while we need significant systemic change in our society to end youth homelessness – one voice, one person alone CAN make an impact.
For many of the children/young people we support there is a sense of invisibility, isolation, rejection and fear that nobody cares. The myths and stereotypes that surround youth homelessness often see the child or young person ‘blamed’ for their homelessness which can further isolate children/young people from their community or from seeking the support they need. This and their early experience of homelessness can have significant long-term impact on a young person’s safety, health & wellbeing.
Things you can do to make a difference
There are lots of ways you can help us end youth homelessness & show our children/young people that their community does care.
Check out the ideas below.
Donate money, goods or services to YPS
While YPS receives government funding to provide essential homelessness responses to children/young people in our area the demand often outweighs the capacity of our agency to respond. Additionally the funding received is targeted to certain response types & does not always meet the needs of young people. The children/young people we support often do not have an income or are receiving Youth Allowance- which provides $32 per day for the young person to house, feed, clothe themselves, attend education, pay essential costs of living, transport themselves to school/ work/ appointments, purchase medications and access health care services. An impossible task!:
Donations received by YPS go towards:
- Assisting young people establish tenancies by purchasing essential household goods
- Running essential independent living skill development programs
- Assisting with purchase of Birth Certificates & other essential forms of ID required to access Income Support, get a medicare card, open a Bank account, attend school & training, apply for housing
- Assisting with medication and health care access
- Assisting with purchase of essential school equipment
- YPS is a registered Charity so all donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.
Help young people get the support they require
Make sure you have the correct information and contact details for your local support services- YPS and other youth focused agencies and programs. If you hear of a child/ young person experiencing homelessness then you’ll have the information to be able to share that may just make a huge difference in a young person life.
Make sure your family, friends and colleagues have this info too- the more people that know what’s available the better chance a child/young person has of getting the support that they need.
Advocate for young people
Help us keep children & young people & their needs on the Political agenda, help us lobby for greater investment in the youth of your community, help us respond to the affordable housing crisis across our region.
Write to, email, social media tag your local Council, State & Federal Ministers and Members- let them know that you as a community member want them to increase their investment in youth homelessness & the services that support children & young people in your area.
Participate in YPS events
YPS implements a number of events each year to fund raise & raise awareness & education of youth homelessness in our region. These campaigns helps us build our communities knowledge of the issues and pathways into youth homelessness & gain support for our children & young people.
So jump in, get involved, if you see us on the Streets stop & say Hi, buy a raffle ticket, spread the word & spread the message that YOUTH HOMELESSNESS MATTERS!
Challenge & educate
The myths and stereotypes around youth homelessness have a significant negative impact on children & young people & perpetuate incorrect information. Help us challenge these myths & educate our community on the REAL reasons & impacts of youth homelessness for our children & young people.
- When you hear incorrect information – correct it
- Make sure your family, friends, colleagues have the right information so they can help to
- Give people our webpage address so they can educate themselves on the issue
- Use your social media sites to spread correct information about the issue
- Follow YPS on our social media sites so you know about any new information, news or events
If you’re a Landlord
Access to safe & affordable (or any for that matter) housing is a huge barrier to our young people. These barriers include:
- Not having a rental history
- Not being able to afford a rental property alone so needing 2 or 3 young people to apply together (now their seen as a gang or a potential party house!)
- Their income is fixed & less than most other applicants
- They receive a Centrelink benefit that is often seen as less attractive than an employment income
- The stereotypes related to young people & partying, property damage, anti-social behaviour often taint ALL young people regardless of who they are as an individual
- Their family name is often a barrier, if their parents have had negative rental experience.
If you’re a Landlord you have the ability to make a difference by giving young people an opportunity in your property. Not all young people are disrespectful party animals!- in fact the majority just want somewhere safe to live so they can get on with their lives. It is a risk, but no more a risk than renting to anyone else.
Ask your Real Estate Agent to check if young applicants are being supported by a Service (either YPS or another support agency) as this is a positive not a deficit. Young people who are receiving support generally have a greater understanding of their RTA obligations & there is a support person there to help mediate any issues that may come up during the tenancy.
The other option would be to contact your local Community Housing Provider (CHP) to see if they do Headlease arrangements in your area. Headleasing is a great way for Landlords to lower the risk on their investment property as you are guaranteed a rental return even if the property is vacant for a period of time & there are other benefits as well. To find out all the benefits of Headleasing contact your local CHP.
If this option is for you then let the CHP know that you want your property available specifically for young people and they will do the rest.
If you’re an Employer or Business Owner
Youth unemployment is a significant concern across our community- in fact the MNC has the second highest Youth Unemployment rate in NSW. Poverty has direct links to youth homelessness and can have long-term impacts on a young person’s ability to secure safe housing & be active members in our community.
There are lots of Government funded programs and incentives that support Employers to employ a young person in Traineeships, Apprenticeships or just as general staff members. If you’re an Employer or local Business owner take a look at the support available to you & think about giving our young people a go.
Give us a call & have a chat
If you have any other ideas on how you’d like to help then give us a call & have a chat- we are always happy to work with our community to support children & young people.