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The Cost of Youth Homelessness Research

21 April 2016

The Cost of youth homelessness in Australia study provides a concise account of the complexity and depth of problems that Australian homeless youth face. This research provided a snapshot of the experiences and issues that homeless you face, these include:

  • The leading form of youth homelessness is couch surfing
  • Before the age of 18, 63% of homeless youth surveyed had been in some form of out-of-home care
  • 39% of homeless youth reported that on one or more occasions police had been called to their home because of violence between parents
  • Mental health conditions were high amongst homeless youth
  • High levels of psychological distress
  • 52% of homeless youth were not employed at the time of the interview


The focus of couch surfing in this report is significant, and was proved to be the most dominant form of homelessness in youth. This issue is strongly examined in The Salvation Army’s The Couch Project Classroom.


The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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