Melbourne’s rising median house prices have made owning a home impossible for many young Australians and homelessness a potential reality.
Youth Homelessness Matters Day will be held on April 5, raising awareness and supporting young Australians who experience or are at risk of homelessness.
The combination of low youth allowance payments, rising rent and a lack of employment pathways for vulnerable youth has led 26,000 young Australians into homelessness.
Fair Work Ombudsman currently lists the minimum wage in Australia at $17.70 per hour and $672.70 per 38-hour week, before tax.
In Victoria, the median weekly rent in low-income earning suburb Frankston was $350 per week. Also add to that weekly list groceries, phone bills, internet, gas, electricity, car expenses and public transport.
What is left after all these payments have been made is hardly enough for a young Australian to live off the entire week.
Theses figures just aren’t adding up for many young Australians, leaving some people little choice other than to rely on additional benefits or sleep rough.
Former construction worker Dylan Pyke is currently experiencing youth homelessness and has been sleeping rough for the past month on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn.
“After I left home, I slept on my mate’s couch, but it didn’t work out, so here I am,” Mr Pyke said.
“When I became a tradie I didn’t know I would end up on the streets.”
“I used to be bricklayer and I just want some work so I can eat and drive and buy things and maybe move back in with my mate.”
Spokesperson for the Council to Homeless Persons Ian Gough has called for a national plan to be put in place to end youth homelessness.
“We’re not going to accept it, we’re not going to have youth homelessness in our community,” Mr Gough said.
“It’s a national disgrace.”
Youth Homelessness Matters Day is part of National Youth Week, which runs from 31 March to 9 April 2017.
To get involved in YHMD, click here.