You are here: HomeArchiveSchoolsNews › Couch Surfing Students Research

Couch Surfing Students Research

21 April 2016

The Couch Surfing Students research study1 investigated the experiences and perceptions of and towards couch surfing secondary students in the Yarra Ranges Shire. The study aimed to highlight a better understanding of how to intervene earlier rather than later, as well as ensuring services are effective and efficient.

The research found that:

  • Homelessness often starts early for many individuals
  • School counselors and teachers are a primary source of advice and support for youth that have run away from home or who are homeless
  • Half the sample did not consider themselves homeless
  • Specialist homelessness services and schools play an important and intertwining role in supporting students with issues connected with homelessness

Recommendations from this study include:

  • The presence of homeless youth services in schools
  • Students and teachers need to be more educated about homelessness
  • Immediate support to in-crisis students need to be available at schools, including accommodation and other support
  • Reconsider the term "homelessness'

To download the full report, please see Centre for Social Impact: Couchsurfing Students - The Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project.

The Couch Project run by the Salvation Army brings this knowledge to students and schools with their workshops. The Couch Project has a strong emphasis on the changing the negative perception of homelessness, it also provides participants with valuable information of resources available for individuals experiencing homelessness, and also teaches of the warning signs and how you can help get support.



1 Thielking, M., Flatau, P., La Sala, L., and Sutton, D. (2015). Couch Surfing Students: The Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project. Anchor Youth Services, the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network (OELLEN), Swinburne University and the University of Western Australia Centre for Social Impact.


The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

Diversity & Inclusion logo

The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

13 SALVOS (13 72 58)

Gifts of $2 or more to the social work of The Salvation Army in Australia are tax deductible.Details and ABNs

Hope where it's needed most