Brisbane Youth Service (BYS) welcomes the recent State Government announcement of the Towards Ending Homelessness for Young Queenslanders 2022-27 policy and framework, providing greater clarity on how the almost $30 million State budget investment in housing and young homelessness initiatives will be spent to best support vulnerable young Queenslanders.
The announcement comes a week before the Queensland Housing Summit on 20 October where BYS will advocate for the specific needs of young people who are often overlooked, despite facing the highest rates of homelessness in the country.
BYS CEO Pam Barker says government, sector, and philanthropic partners must come together with a strategic, innovative approach to end youth homelessness.
“Investment in early-intervention support and safe, stable housing for young people is critical to reduce further trauma and break the cycle of long-term homelessness into adulthood,” she said.
“By preventing young people from becoming perpetually homeless in our community, the social and economic returns to Queensland are exponential.
“We need to strategically identify the gaps and look at different housing models such as youth foyers, accessibility of secondary dwellings such as granny flats, more crisis shelters as well as affordable and social housing.”
In the past three years BYS has seen an incredible 88% increase in requests for urgent support. In the last year alone, 72% of young people seeking support from BYS had experienced domestic and family violence, and 63% had a diagnosed mental illness (an increase of 34% in five years)*.
“As Brisbane’s largest youth service, we are leading the response to address domestic and family violence impacting young people and will continue to work tirelessly to keep young people safe, and young families together and housed,” said Ms Barker.
Almost a third of all young people supported by BYS identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and BYS congratulates the Palaszczuk Government for committing to allocate specific funding to support young First Nations peoples experiencing homelessness.
BYS continues to innovate new programs and approaches, achieving positive outcomes for young people despite the huge surge in need and lack of safe and affordable housing options.
The Queensland Housing Summit provides a critical opportunity to find innovative housing solutions to ensure young people are given fair and equitable access to new housing opportunities as they work toward social and economic independence.
* Brisbane Youth Service 2021-22
For further information please contact:
Brisbane Youth Service
P: 0481 558 783 E: email@example.com
- Each year, Brisbane Youth Service supports thousands of young people in crisis (aged 12-25 years) and young families, and the demand continues to increase significantly each year.
- The number of requests for assistance from young people has increased by 88% over the past 3 years.
- In 2021-22, 72% had experienced family violence, 63% had a diagnosed mental health issue, 44% were homeless, and 21% were young parents
- Most were also experiencing a range of other complex issues and barriers such as:
76% were in unsafe, unsuitable or unaffordable housing
54% had no or poor family support
45% had experienced past relationship violence
23% had current legal issues
18% had no source of income
Since 1977, Brisbane Youth Service has been working to create new futures for vulnerable and at-risk young people (aged 12-25 years) and their children, providing free, confidential services including: crisis and transitional housing; emergency relief; physical and mental health services; alcohol and drug interventions; and specialist programs for young women and young families.