Without a home: first-time youth homelessness in the COVID-19 period
The Mission Australia Youth Survey is the largest annual survey of young people of its kind in Australia, attracting thousands of respondents each year who provide valuable insights into the issues and concerns affecting them.
In 2021, Mission Australia conducted its 20th annual Youth Survey, receiving 20,207 responses from young people aged 15 to 19 years. These young people were located around the country, with the vast majority completing the survey online.
In 2021, many lives globally, including those of young people in Australia, were disrupted by the extensive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Youth Survey was conducted between April and August 2021, a period when parts of Australia were in or were emerging from government enforced lockdowns.
Even before the pandemic, the crisis of youth homelessness was occurring at unacceptable levels in Australia. The actual number of young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness is challenging to ascertain, because there is little agreement on how youth homelessness is defined or measured.
- Develop a national plan to end homelessness that is adequately funded.
- Introduce universal risk screening for homelessness in all schools, along with more wrap-around supports for students in need and their families.
- Develop localised student wellbeing strategies in all schools.
- Provide schools with the funds and skilled workforce necessary to respond to students’ mental health needs.
- Increase availability of family support services and domestic and family violence services.