Qld’s homeless youths cut adrift by funding shortfall

The Queensland Government is failing to support youth homelessness which is leading to more young people ending up on the streets, a local youth organisation has said.

The organisation, Caloundra Youth Focus (CYF), said that despite the number of referrals increasing by 47 per cent over the last three years, the government’s static response to funding requests is now forcing the group to cut its service capacity.

“High rents and an increasing population have made housing difficult to find and unaffordable for many youth in the community. This has resulted in an enormous increase in requests for emergency accommodation,” said Michael Jacobson, CYF’s volunteer treasurer.

Mr Jacobson said CYF had to source $250,000 of private funding, which is expected to run out this year, because the government’s financial support was not sufficient enough to cope with demand.

"With the additional funding CYF has been able to provide accommodation and support to young people that have been sexually abused, young people with mental health issues and counseling services for both clients and their parents – services which may now have to be cut," he said.

“We cannot sustain this level of service, which is obviously more than needed, without government support.”

My Jacobson said that the group had submitted requests for more funding from the State Government, but it continued to “fall on deaf ears”.

“We have been shunted from one department to the next, correspondence has been lost and both phone calls and letters remain unanswered," Mr Jacobson said.

“The state needs to understand that we have an issue here and that it cannot be addressed by relying on non-government funding or on volunteers trying to drum up that private support – it’s just not sustainable over the long-term.”

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