Youth homelessness in rural Australia

Youth homelessness in rural Australia Journal Article

AHURI Research & Policy Bulletin

  • Author(s): Beer, A., Randolph, W.
  • Published: 2006
  • Volume: 82

Abstract: Young people facing or experiencing homelessness in rural Australia have different experiences to their urban contemporaries. The foyer model is one response that could help young rural people establish themselves, without relocating them to cities away from their support networks. KEY POINTS • Young people (aged 16-25 years) in rural areas experience homelessness very differently to their urban peers, due to limited employment and education options and inadequate formal support networks. Young people in regional centres, such as Mt Baker, Mt Gambier, Launceston and Ballarat, preferred to stay in the region rather than access accommodation and emergency services in larger cities or towns, indicating that family and friendship support was essential to their wellbeing, connections that would be lost by relocation to urban services. • Gender is particularly significant in the pathway into and experience of homelessness affecting the reasons why young people are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness and their ability to access services and accommodation. Further, race, sexuality, the presence of children and/or pets, employment status, and disability has an effect on young people’s access to services and accommodation. • Children and youth who had been placed into the care system and were under the ‘care of the Minister’ are very likely to experience homelessness, particularly in the context of insufficient foster places for vulnerable teenagers. Additionally, young people from low income families who have previously experienced homelessness are more likely to become homeless themselves. • Young people, generally, do not access services until they become homeless and often access services in an ad hoc manner, including Centrelink. This is generally due to the fact that they are not aware of services that can support them before they become homeless. Additionally, the young people are unlikely to be aware of the variety of benefits and assistance available to them (including through Centrelink), generally only accessing assistance through preestablished connections. This is particularly true for young men.

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Suggested Citation
Beer, A., Randolph, W., 2006, Youth homelessness in rural Australia, Volume:82, Journal Article, viewed 13 June 2024,

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