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It’s normal in any family for fights to break out as young people learn their limits. Sometimes young people leave home due to misunderstandings. When this happens, Youthline can help get everyone on the same page with family and one-on-one counselling.

But often it’s lot bigger than that – if Mum or Dad is prone to violent outbursts and home isn’t a safe place to be, many young people choose to take their chances by going it alone. Some of the young people we work with have been kicked out of home, evicted, or they have broken up with their partner. And if a young person has grown up in the state care system, they often don’t have the family network to fall back on that many of us take for granted.

That’s why it’s so important to have options for young people who can’t go home. Young people often call on us when they have nowhere else to turn to. We can give them support and let them know what options they have available – such as whether they are eligible for income support, or how to apply for flats.

If a young person needs help finding accommodation, Youthline will often take them over to Lifewise’s Hub and Merge café on K road. The Lifewise team can help find young people find emergency accommodation when they have an urgent need for housing, but the ultimate aim is to get them into a permanent home where they can build a life.

Lifewise and Youthline have teamed up to shine a light on the issue of youth homelessness in New Zealand to mark Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2015.