Red tie draws attention to youth homelessness

WEDNESDAY, April 9 was Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD), the one day of the year officially dedicated to ending youth homelessness.

YHMD attempts to bring the issues regarding youth homelessness into the public arena as well as providing ways for the general public to become involved.

The day is aimed at raising public awareness about youth homelessness and the factors that cause it, including breaking the common misconception that homelessness is about older people sleeping rough on the streets.

It is also a day to celebrate the resilience of young people, to convey a message that young people experiencing homelessness are homeless, but not helpless.

YHMD aims to communicate that with good support and accommodation young people can move forward and live their lives productively.

It provides opportunities for wider public support for the 'cause' and encourages a wider responsibility for the issue of youth homelessness, hoping to build sponsorship capacity for the sector.Home is a privilege that most of us take for granted.

On any given night in Australia over 26,000 young people are homeless an alarming number which is on the rise.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day, a national awareness campaign is a call to all Australians, to take action by publicly stating that "youth homelessness matters" and must be prevented.

The campaign aims to end youth homelessness through reducing the stigma and disadvantage faced by young homeless people, by increasing public awareness of the issue, encouraging young people to seek help early and engaging with key decision makers to increase support and services for young homeless people.

If we are able to help young people experiencing homelessness early then there is a much better chance they will never have to experience homelessness again.

Prominent local business owners and community members donned silky red ties to raise awareness and show their support for the Youth Homeless Day initiative.

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