Conference to examine homelessness experiences of both young and older Australians

Examining unique challenges of homelessness at different ends of the age spectrum

26 June 2018

The impacts of homelessness on people at different ends of the age spectrum will be featured in two sessions at the National Homelessness Conference 2018 in Melbourne.

The 2016 Census reveals that the homelessness rate for young people aged 19 to 24 increased from 83.1 per 10,000 of the population in 2011 to 95.3 per 10,000 in 2016, while for older people, rates of homelessness have increased for people aged 55–74 (although rates fell for those aged 75 and over).

The session ‘Young people and homelessness’ will look to better understand the types of young people facing homelessness and explore the integrated approaches that work with young people to address such increases and build and keep tenancies.

The session is being facilitated by Adam Barnes from Brisbane Youth Service with panel members Dr Catherine Robinson from Anglicare Tasmania, Mark Glasson from Anglicare WA and Elvis Martin, Youth Ambassador.

Underlying the session is an awareness that is important to not just focus on ‘traditional’ housing options, but to really talk about what young people want and understand what works best for them.

The ‘Ageing with no address’ session will focus on the impacts of homelessness on people who have finished working, looking at the challenges faced by older people at risk of homelessness as well as effective policy frameworks, current research and latest evidence.

This session will be facilitated by Jeff Fiedler from Housing for the Aged Action Group. He is a driver of the Older Persons Homelessness Prevention Project alongside another speaker in the session, Dr Debbie Faulkner from University of Adelaide.

Other panel members include Dr Emma Power, University of Western Sydney; John Berger, St Bartholomew’s House, Perth, and Penny Leemhuis from Older Women Lost in Housing—an advocacy group she founded after her own lived experience of homelessness that focuses on older women lost to affordable secure accessible housing.

The Conference program has been designed to enable delegates to learn and share on a broad range of issues related to homelessness including housing models that end homelessness; responding to the causes of homelessness; best practice specialist services; and the need for a national homelessness strategy.

The National Homelessness Conference 2018—Ending homelessness together—is convened by AHURI in partnership with Homelessness Australia, and will take place in Melbourne on Mon 6 and Tue 7 August 2018 as part of Homelessness Week 2018.