Image: Youth Homeless organisation St Laurence House is calling for generosity this festive season. Photo: Unsplash.
By JACOB DE NOBREGA
Homelessness is a rising issue in Australian during a cost-of-living crisis, with 116,427 people living without a place to sleep, with almost a quarter of these being young people aged 12 to 24.
To combat these 27,680 homeless young people, not for profit organisations such as the St Laurence House are sheltering these young people and those that are at risk.
The St Laurence House provides 24/7 support to children in need across five bedrooms in the house as well as four semi-supported units for young adults as part of their Supported Transitional Accommodation for Youth (STAY) program.
“Helping our young people requires considerable commitment, sensitivity and careful planning by our staff” Executive Officer of St Laurence House, Nigel Parker, said.
While these organisations are doing all they can, they are being significantly underfunded by the NSW government as their funding models are designed for short-term crisis shelters and not longer-term services.
St Laurence House terms itself as a medium-term accommodation service and a long-term lifeline for young people. Because of the underfunding from the NSW government, the St Laurence House is asking for everyone in the community to donate to their Christmas appeal.
The St Laurence House is aiming for $50,000 in donations to help close the gap in funding and allow their continuing support of at-risk young people.
The demand for services like the St Laurence House has never been higher as an unprecedented number of young people urgently need help.
“We will never stop advocating for youth and we will never stop offering our cities most vulnerable kids the chance for a brighter future” Alan Soutar, the chairman for St Laurence House said.