This week has seen the escalation of the Victorian State Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the state enters Stage 4 lockdown restrictions.
A sobering thought as it coincides with Homelessness Week.
These restrictions come with their own challenges for vulnerable young people experiencing unstable housing. How far away is your closest supermarket? Not that easy to navigate if life has been too unstable for you to own a phone with a GPS on it.
Every night across our nation, almost 120,000 people are homeless, and many of them are vulnerable young people. Recent research from Mission Australia revealed that more than 1 in 6 young people they surveyed reported having an experience of homelessness.
The pandemic has made those experiencing homelessness even more vulnerable, and put tens of thousands more people at risk of falling into unemployment, homelessness and housing insecurity.
Recent announcements by the Victorian State Government to ensure that more than 2000 vulnerable Victorians housed temporarily in hotels will get ongoing housing options and support throughout the pandemic, and out the other side, are very much welcomed.
“This is an insightful and forward-thinking decision by the Victorian Government that will make such a difference for thousands of people experiencing homelessness, and bring hope for the future in the midst of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Concern Australia CEO Michelle Crawford.
“Through the work of our Steps Outreach Service and Inside Out programs, we see firsthand the impact that insecure housing and homelessness has on young people. On their behalf, we say thank-you to the Victorian Government for this welcome announcement, and commit to working with the Government and other agencies to support young people throughout the process and into the future.”
While this is a huge step in the right direction, there is much more to be done, in Victoria and across the nation.
That’s why we need you to join us in supporting the Everybody’s Home campaign this week.