Homelessness is not ‘rooflessness’: there are young people who may not be sleeping rough but who do not have safe and stable housing. Research at Brisbane Youth Service has addressed a critical knowledge gap on the prevalence and experiences of young people couch surfing.

In partnership with Dr Katie Hail-Jares at Griffith University, we have analysed multiple years of client data to identify concerning links between young people’s experiences of couch surfing and reports of poor mental health and disconnection from support. This research also included qualitative interviews with young couch surfers funded by Brisbane City Council and the Department of Child Safety; and the trial of a dedicated couch surfing service and practice tools funded by the Queensland Mental Health Commission.

Research at BYS focuses on the intersectional challenges faced by young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including mental health and domestic and family violence. Our research has also highlighted the  innovative and adaptive approaches to practice trialled and adopted at BYS in times of uncertainty and volatility.