Shared from the 5/28/2019 Whittlesea eEdition

Youth need help now

Homelessness emerges as major issue

WHITTLESEA’S increasing youth homelessness problem was put under the spotlight at a panel discussion earlier this month.

Whittlesea woman Whitney, a young mother who had experienced homelessness, said it was stressful not having adequate youth services in Whittlesea.

“I have children in this area, and this is my home, but there were no beds available for me when I was homeless,” Whitney said.

She said she ended up in a refuge in Brunswick and then transitional housing in Melton.

“I had to travel for hours a day to be able to see my children,” she said.

Data from the last Census showed 630 people experienced homelessness in Whittlesea in 2016.

Hope Street Youth and Family Services chief executive Donna Bennett said there was an increased need for homelessness services in Whittlesea because the district had a high rate of domestic violence and youth unemployment.

Hope Street would work with Whittlesea Council to build a first response youth service in the area, Ms Bennett said.

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