Essay On Homelessness In Australia

Homelessness is a global issue, but it has become an epidemic in Australia. With the highest rate of homelessness in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and an increasing number of people living on the streets, there are many contributing factors to this crisis. This assessment will explore what causes homelessness, how it affects Australia’s youth population, and what can be done to address the problem.

The first significant cause of homelessness in Australia is a lack of available low-cost housing. There was once a time when the government built social housing to suit the needs of disadvantaged people, however, there has not been much new construction in recent years. As more and more people are pushed into short-term accommodation solutions like motels or caravan parks, waiting lists for public housing grow longer. It has even reached the point where many homeless youths decide they would be better off living on the streets than trying to survive through waiting lists.

Another significant contributor to long-term homelessness in Australia is family breakdowns. Almost 50% of all homeless young people have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives prior to becoming homeless, most commonly due to family breakdowns. A lack of support services for families experiencing mental illness, drug addiction, and domestic violence has made it difficult for people to move forward. When this happens, young people are left on their own with little or no financial support. Unfortunately, many of these youths turn to crime as a way of supporting themselves and end up in jail a place where they will not be able to use drugs but where shelter is provided. Of the more than 1,000 young people incarcerated daily in Australia, about half are homeless.

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The number one reason why youth homelessness is increasing is that young people see nothing wrong with living on the streets. YMCAs all throughout Australia are noticing an increasing number of young people wandering the streets and sleeping rough. This generation has lost touch with what other generations consider ‘normal’, which is having a roof over one’s head, three meals a day, and family to care for. “It could be argued that there are more opportunities for young people today than ever before to live independently. There appears to be little or no social pressure on young people to conform to societal norms”.

This lack of conformity to societal norms results in youth homelessness because it allows them to break free from society’s expectations. Society expects everyone who is able should work towards getting an education, finding a job, starting a family, etc. However, young people see this as constricting and are beginning to rebel against it. Instead of doing all the things that society expects them to do, they are leaving school early, pursuing drugs and crime, and having children at a young age without any real means to support themselves. “It is thus somewhat different for youth in Australia today who can sometimes live off an inheritance or some other form of financial assistance”.

Homelessness among youth is growing at an alarming rate because this generation lives by its own rules. Society expects everyone to have shelter, food on their plates, clothes on their backs, etc., but there are more opportunities than ever before for people to be homeless. This generation has lost touch with what being ‘normal’ in society entails and instead chooses its own paths. While there are many who live on the streets because their lives are difficult, others feel it is an easier option than having to conform to society’s rules. The lack of societal conformity has led to more homeless young people in Australia today than ever before.

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