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World Homelessness Day 2020

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10 October 2020 marks World Homelessness Day and World Mental Health Day/Week and we have Anti-Poverty Week in October too. All of these issues are interrelated and need to be addressed holistically. There are strong links between homelessness, inadequate education, unemployment and mental illness.

Homelessness and mental health

The Down and Out Report in 1998 found:

  • 46% of the women were affected by schizophrenia
  • 23% of the males were affected by schizophrenia
  • 33% had serious mood disorders
  • 38% of the women had experienced a major depressive disorder

Professor Brian Burdekin’s speech, National Youth Homelessness Conference 2019

Homelessness and poverty

The 2020 Poverty in Australia Overview states:

  • 3.24 million people in Australia (13.6% of the population) live below the poverty line
  • 774,000 children under the age of 15 (17.7% of all children in Australia) live below the poverty line
  • More than one in eight adults and one in six children live below the poverty line in Australia
  • The average poverty gap (the gap between the poverty line and the incomes of people in poverty) is $282 a week
  • The single rate of Youth Allowance (plus Rent Assistance and Energy Supplement) is $168 per week below the poverty line
  • Our survey of young people on Youth Allowance found 9 in 10 skip meals and1 in 3 have withdrawn from their studies because of a lack of funds

UNSW and ACOSS February 2020

The Burdekin Association has developed a range of distinct but interrelated programs.

Our experience

The top five reasons for presenting to our Youth Housing Program:

  1. Relationship and family breakdown
  2. Current issue with housing (eviction/lease ending/affordability)
  3. Mental health
  4. Financial difficulties
  5. Lack of family/community support

What we do

The Burdekin Association provides support and accommodation options to children and young people (12-24) and their families in the Northern and Inner West areas of Sydney.

We provide an accommodation, care and support continuum that is responsive to the individual needs of a diverse range of young people aged 12-24 years and their families.

This has involved putting together a range of flexible and innovative programs. This flexible approach, combined with the individual nature of service provision, trauma informed practice, a commitment to creative solutions and appropriate expectations enhances the ability to work with more children and young people.