Half the homeless in the town and state are 24 or younger

Tim Chard, Pathfinders’ Specialist Homelessness Services Support Worker in Glen Innes, collecting furnoture for those in need.

Tim Chard, Pathfinders’ Specialist Homelessness Services Support Worker in Glen Innes, collecting furnoture for those in need.

The latest government figures show homelessness has been rising across New South Wales and in Glen Innes, according to Pathfinders which supports people without homes.

From 2011 to 2016 (the latest figures available), homelessness rose across Australia by about 14 per cent. On census day in 2016, 30 people were homeless in Glen Innes, a nine per cent increase on five years before.

Last year, Pathfinders says that it supported more than 150 people in the Armidale Youth Refuge and 470 people through the Inverell and Glen Innes Services.

According to Pathfinders, in Glen Innes last year, 54.2% of the 470 people the Pathfinders homelessness program helped were 24 years and younger.

Tim Chard, Pathfinders’ Specialist Homelessness Services Support Worker in Glen Innes, said there were even more people “doing it tough who were unaccounted for, including those who don’t seek help from support services or haven’t made their homelessness known to data collectors.”

According to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics the jump in homelessness in New South Wales was larger than in any other state or territory, increasing from 28,191 in 2011 to 37,715 last Census night.

Alan Brennan, CEO of Pathfinders, says these figures showed the urgent need for federal, state and local organisations to strengthen their efforts.

““Many people who seek our specialist homelessness support services not only struggle to keep up with rising housing costs but also face issues like domestic violence, substance abuse, unemployment and mental illness,” he said.

The report also found that 34% of the homeless population in 2016 were 24 years and younger.