Coast youths call for action against homelessness

IN THE lead up to Youth Homelessness Matters Day on April 15, Sunshine Coast youths say more needs to be done to help young people living in unstable families.

A group of youngsters were enjoying a morning at the Quota Park skate park when they spoke with the Daily's reporter yesterday.

Former Bli Bli resident 19-year-old Travis Anger said in his experience youth homelessness was caused by unstable families, mental illness and drugs.

"It's mainly about parents," he said. "People's parents kick them out of home."

He said homeless people had been very visible in Quota Park and other places around Nambour during his high school years, with men and women sleeping under the shelters.

Kids he knew had become homeless, including one boy who would disappear from school regularly and was "couch surfing", he said.

Mr Anger said he'd felt powerless to do anything to help the boy, who was only 16 at the time.

James Appledore, also 19 and a school friend of Mr Anger, agreed that youth homelessness was mainly caused by instability in the home.

"They always have violence and drugs in their families," he said.

He said more should be done to help parents with mental health issues.

"This guy we knew was beaten up at home all the time," he said. "He left the state to get away from his parents."

The boy had returned after living on the streets for a month, but "it all started again when he got back", Mr Appledore said.

Buddina resident 16-year-old Shani Muir said a friend of hers had recently gone missing for two weeks, after she ran away from her "crazy" mother.

"Police rocked up to my place and were asking me questions, because I was the last person to see her," she said.

She said kids were to blame as well as adults, but she felt the adults had to take the lead.

"I wouldn't want her to move away (from home) because it just makes things worse," she said. "You need to talk to someone as a family and get help because running away from the situation doesn't work."



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