A recent report from Child Poverty Action Group highlights the need for a strategy to end Youth Homelessness.
Child Poverty Action Group’s new report has highlighted that the lack of a strategy to end youth homelessness led to gross inequalities and injustices in the experiences of young people.
The report highlights that young people without foster care experience were neglected from the Government’s homelessness response over lockdown.
While they pulled out all the stops to house our adult whānau, many rangatahi between the age of 16-17 were being turned away from Emergency Accommodation due to their age. This exacerbated the risk they were in and meant that many young people had to remain in unsafe environments where they were being abused and exploited. Others had to couch surf in equally unsafe environments, and still, others were forced to sleep rough as their options quickly ran out.
If a Youth Homelessness strategy had been put in place prior to the Level 4 Lockdown as requested by Manaaki Rangatahi since 2018, much of the harm that was caused could have been avoided.
Manaaki Rangatahi continues to call for a strategy to End Youth Homelessness. This strategy would examine the pipelines and key drivers of Youth Homelessness, and would make the necessary policy and legislative changes in order to close them. It would also ensure that gaps in our current system would be resourced, and plans put in place to respond to the needs of our rangatahi and prevent young people from falling into homelessness.
Covid-19 has given us an opportunity. An opportunity to see ourselves. We are not the just, equitable nation many of us want to believe we are. CPAG’s report highlights this. But, we can do better. We can rebuild Aotearoa into a place that puts the wellbeing of our children and young people at its centre. This will take work, sacrifice, a reorientation of our values even. But, it can be done. In fact, for the sake of our kids, for the sake of our future, it must be done.
A great place to start is by Ending Youth Homelessness
Sign and share our petition now: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/end-youth-homelessness and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
The Manaaki Rangatahi ki Tāmaki Youth Homelessness Collective was established in 2018 as a way of consolidating the work of different organisations who are trying to tackle youth homelessness. Member organisations including VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, Lifewise, Strive Community Trust, E Tipu E Rea, RainbowYOUTH and VisionWest Community Trust, are calling for immediate and urgent action to respond to Youth Homelessness.