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Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD) has been an exciting campaign since its inception in 1990. Started by a group of social advocates who believed too many young people were moving out of home with nowhere to go, YHMD was supported by the National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH) until 2021 when the NYCH disbanded and handed the campaign to Yfoundations.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day aims to raise awareness and public discussion about youth homelessness so that it can develop sustainable and innovative solutions for supporting the needs of young people experiencing homelessness and supporting their dreams.

Youth homelessness is something that affects most people, whether it’s a parent who lets their child’s friend crash on the couch for a couple nights or an aunt who hears of her niece being kicked out. Yet many people don’t know the impact this has on our young people or what to do to help.

For many others, the school counsellor doesn’t know what to do or doesn’t have the capacity to help. Often there are no vacancies at youth accommodation services and young people have to move far away from their childhood town. Others hear rumours about ‘youth refuges’ and are scared they will just end up becoming a ‘good-for-nothing’, ‘bad’ kid.

We’ll probably never live in a society where no young person has to leave home early (although that would be nice) and we know that family breakdown is sometimes inevitable. However, young people shouldn’t have to face homelessness when their home life doesn’t work out. They shouldn’t be faced with a life of disadvantage just because they were dealt a bad hand and born to troubled parents or a broken family.

Over the years, YHMD has grown into a national celebration of young people’s resilience.

To learn more go to Yfoundations