Youth week sheds light on homelessness

Youth Consultative Team members Hannah and Matthew Blakey and Nathan Kirk with Trish Thomas and Duke Bailey from Pathfinders.
Youth Consultative Team members Hannah and Matthew Blakey and Nathan Kirk with Trish Thomas and Duke Bailey from Pathfinders.

THE Youth Homelessness Matters Sleep Out event took place in Glen Innes recently to raise awareness of the local homeless problem.

Held in conjunction with National Youth Week 2016 Pathfinders from Glen Innes responded to calls from its Youth Consultative Team in regards to programs to combat the problem. 

Pathfinders Glen Innes spokesman Duke Bailey said Youth Homelessness Matters Day was scheduled to fall right in the middle of Youth Week so it was decided that holding a sleep out in the community would be a perfect way to raise awareness for such an important cause.

“Most people aren’t aware but there are around 100,000 people homeless on any given night in Australia and alarmingly nearly half of these people are under the age of 25,” he said.

“Recently we set up camp behind the old Royal Hotel building with our cardboard boxes which were kindly donated by Reject Shop Glen Innes and we held a free BBQ dinner, outdoor cinema and loads of games for the young people kept us all in high spirits while we braved the cold. 

“The event was a great success with around 20 people in attendance from all different age groups and around 15 who stayed for the duration of the night.”

Bailey said the event and events of this nature are really important to have, as they draw attention to an issue that a large number of people fail to recognise.

“I think more people need to be aware of the severity of the issues that a large number of young Australian’s and local Glen Innes people face daily,” he said.

“The sleep out was a great way way to bring to light what the homeless in Glen Innes face nightly because there is no better way to understand the problem than to experience a taste of it.”