Painted walls

What is youth homelessness?

Homelessness is defined by the department of housing and development as a family or individual who is lacking a regular, fixed residence; an individual who has night-time residence that is a private shelter or a supervised public shelter that offers temporary accommodation to those who have nowhere to go.
Youth homelessness doesn’t mean that you are living on the street. Homelessness is where you haven’t got a stable, safe and permanent place to live and you are in dire need for youth support services.

There are three types of homelessness:

  • Episodic homelessness is when a person ends up homelessness several times, due to having an addiction or mental illness.
  • Situational homelessness means when a person is forced into being homeless due to an event like a loss of a job, domestic violence, or losing family who may have been the breadwinner.
  • Chronic long-term homelessness is used for when someone is homeless for an extended period. Most times this is due to a lack of resources, friends, family, money etc. that is needed to help change their living satiation. Most often, they too, are going through addiction problems or mental health problems.

Where do the homeless youth go?


Large cities will often have accommodations that are for young people who are without permanent shelter. The places will differ as some will provide meals; others just cannot. Emergency shelters are not meant for long-term housing, and there will be limits as to how long people can stay.

Homeless child


Young people that have nowhere to go may look for unoccupied buildings for shelter out of the weather elements. Most often, there is no running water, electricity and they will usually be found to be trespassing.

Couch surfing

This is when young people are sleeping at family or friends’ homes most often on the couch, hence the name. Doing so can cause a burden for those who are letting the person stay and often it doesn’t work out, causing the young person to then look for another couch to call home.

If you find yourself without a home or you are wanting to flee your home, then you are not alone. There are many services out there that can help with getting you somewhere to stay, access to food, a bathroom, a warm place to sleep and most importantly support.
Whether you are alone or you have children that are fleeing with you get in touch with the services available that can help sort something out for you.

Emergency accommodation

Different organisations will offer various services for young people who are homeless here are a few:

  • St Vincent society, VincentCare program
  • Melbourne City Mission youth refuge stopover
  • Western region accommodation program

The salvation army

The Victoria government can offer advice and information on where you can go for support and housing for young people, with nowhere to go, or are escaping family violence.

Centrelink crisis

You may be entitled to payments for young people who are homeless and have been forced to leave home due to particular circumstances.

No matter the circumstances, there is plenty of help out there for you, specifically for homeless gateways. If you are unsure where to go places like Centrelink have contact details and internet use available, so you can get in contact with the support services to see what they can offer.