Youth homelessness and young
people at risk
Sherri Bruinhout, Director, Homelessness and Justice
Wayne Merritt, Integrated...
Overview of presentation
1. Definition of homelessness
2. Homelessness Services options
3. Pathways into homelessness
4. I...
What is youth homelessness?
• There are 3 categories:
• primary homelessness -all people without
conventional shelter, suc...
• secondary homelessness - people who
are staying in any form of temporary
accommodation with no other secure housing
else...
• tertiary homelessness - refers to occupants of
single rooms in private boarding houses who
live there for more than thre...
Definition expanded
Homelessness is about shelter, however the
definition also needs to acknowledge other
factors in play;...
Scope of the issue
On Census night 2011:
• 22,789 people were counted as homeless,
including 1,092 people ‘primary homeles...
Youth homelessness
• Young people (12 to 25):
• Approximately 6,130 Victorians between 12
and 25 were homeless on census n...
Pathways into youth homelessness
• It’s messy.
• Researchers develop models to assist us, not
dictate to us.
• Flexibility...
Youth Homeless Career
Impacts of homelessness on young
people- Martijn study
• “trauma is a common experience amongst homeless
youth prior to ho...
Impacts on young people-
Johnson/Chamberlain study
Impacts on young people- Project i
study
• Only 38% attending school
• 22% no formal source of income
• 37% attempted suic...
Current policy environment
Victorian Homelessness Action Plan and Social
Services reform
Focus on;
• early intervention
• ...
Integrated Service Delivery
What works?
• Flexibility and Individualised service provision
• Multi disciplinary teams
• Early intervention
• Community...
Lasting thought?
Integration requires flexibility
Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout - Melbourne City Mission - Understanding the impacts of homelessness
Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout - Melbourne City Mission - Understanding the impacts of homelessness
Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout - Melbourne City Mission - Understanding the impacts of homelessness
Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout - Melbourne City Mission - Understanding the impacts of homelessness
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Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout - Melbourne City Mission - Understanding the impacts of homelessness

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Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout delivered the presentation at the 2014 Young People at Risk Forum.

The 2014 Young People at Risk Forum reviewed the challenges and solutions surrounding intervention programs around topics such as suicide prevention, substance abuse, mental health, education, employment and housing. Additionally, the forum focused on culturally competent care and care within Aboriginal communities.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/yprisk14

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Wayne Merritt and Sheridan Bruinhout - Melbourne City Mission - Understanding the impacts of homelessness

  1. 1. Youth homelessness and young people at risk Sherri Bruinhout, Director, Homelessness and Justice Wayne Merritt, Integrated Youth Services Manager Melbourne City Mission
  2. 2. Overview of presentation 1. Definition of homelessness 2. Homelessness Services options 3. Pathways into homelessness 4. Impacts on the development of young people 5. What works?
  3. 3. What is youth homelessness? • There are 3 categories: • primary homelessness -all people without conventional shelter, such as people living on the streets, sleeping in parks, squatting in derelict buildings, or using cars or improvised dwellings for shelter
  4. 4. • secondary homelessness - people who are staying in any form of temporary accommodation with no other secure housing elsewhere (eg staying temporarily with friends or relatives, staying at a Shelter, staying temporarily at a Boarding House)
  5. 5. • tertiary homelessness - refers to occupants of single rooms in private boarding houses who live there for more than three months. They are considered homeless because their accommodation does not have the characteristic identified in the minimum community standard – they do not have their own bathroom and kitchen, a separate room for eating and sleeping, and security of tenure provided by a lease
  6. 6. Definition expanded Homelessness is about shelter, however the definition also needs to acknowledge other factors in play; 1. Personal factors (support networks, ability to live independently, ability to access supports) 2. Systemic factors (poverty, housing affordability, exit from state care...)
  7. 7. Scope of the issue On Census night 2011: • 22,789 people were counted as homeless, including 1,092 people ‘primary homeless’ (without any shelter or accommodation at all). Specialist homelessness services reported in 2010- 11 • 68,500 men, women and children accessed homelessness services in Victoria • Nationally, more than half of all people needing immediate accommodation were turned away
  8. 8. Youth homelessness • Young people (12 to 25): • Approximately 6,130 Victorians between 12 and 25 were homeless on census night • Numbers have increased by approx 35% since 2006 • Almost 60% of homelessness service users are under the age of 25.
  9. 9. Pathways into youth homelessness • It’s messy. • Researchers develop models to assist us, not dictate to us. • Flexibility is assumed • Phases and transitions
  10. 10. Youth Homeless Career
  11. 11. Impacts of homelessness on young people- Martijn study • “trauma is a common experience amongst homeless youth prior to homelessness and figured in the causal pathways to homelessness for over half of the sample; • once homeless, for the majority of youth there is an increase in the number of psychological diagnoses including drug and alcohol diagnoses; and • crime did not precede homelessness for all but one youth; however, following homelessness, involvement in criminal activity was common and became a distinguishing factor amongst youth”.
  12. 12. Impacts on young people- Johnson/Chamberlain study
  13. 13. Impacts on young people- Project i study • Only 38% attending school • 22% no formal source of income • 37% attempted suicide • 12% clinical psychosis diagnosis • 49% using marijuana recently • 59% women and 45% men exp involuntary sex
  14. 14. Current policy environment Victorian Homelessness Action Plan and Social Services reform Focus on; • early intervention • Whole of govt/community integration • Flexibility- funding, service delivery and workforce • Outcome measurement and incentives
  15. 15. Integrated Service Delivery
  16. 16. What works? • Flexibility and Individualised service provision • Multi disciplinary teams • Early intervention • Community and a sense of belonging • Remembering the vulnerability of the young people we work with
  17. 17. Lasting thought? Integration requires flexibility

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