No roof above their head

By YASEMIN TALAT

WITH OVER 1000 people in Brimbank reported homeless, the community is being asked “what would you miss if you were homeless?”.
Homelessness has been high on the radar this month following Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD), and Brimbank residents are being urged to think about the many people suffering without homes, especially youth.
A YouTube video launched as part of YHMD, which was produced by the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), asked young people on Melbourne streets to imagine themselves homeless and answer the question “what would you miss?”.
Figures from the last Census (2011) showed there were 1120 homeless people living in Brimbank.
According to the data, St Albans North had the highest number of homelessness with 173 people, and there were a total of 276 people across St Albans North and South homeless.
Sunshine also had a high number of homelessness with a total of 396 across Sunshine, Sunshine North and Sunshine West.
HCHP described homelessness as not just living out on the streets, but people who couldn’t afford to buy a home or rent due to the shortage of affordable housing in the municipality, and those who lived in their cars or on someone else’s couch, and even those who lived in overcrowded dwellings.
“It will come as a shock to many people that over 40 per cent of people who are homeless are under 25,” said CEO of CHP Jenny Smith .
“These young people have often already experienced significant trauma in their lives. To not have a safe, stable home only compounds the damage,” Ms Smith said.
“We hope that the ‘What would you miss?’ video will stimulate discussion and action to end to youth homelessness.”
Every night, over 26,000 young Australians are homeless, and almost one in six homeless Victorians are under the age of 12.
‘What would you miss?’ YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heod8jV5Ln0

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