Lifewise report that young people experiencing homelessness tell them that the streets feel like a safer alternative to some of the Emergency Accommodation places they’ve been provided. Lifewise is concerned that young people, some as young as 16, are being placed in motels without adequate support or care. As a result, rangatahi report being traumatised by their experience of Emergency Accommodation.
Lifewise joins calls alongside Manaaki Rangatahi – the collective working to end Youth Homelessness – to begin investment in big, bold and courageous solutions that will ensure that young people’s experience of homelessness is rare, brief and non-reoccurring. Lifewise would like to see Immediate Accommodation services set up that would provide immediate 24/7 care and support for rangatahi in urgent housing need. They would also provide a place of healing and reconnection for rangatahi experiencing homelessness, and a place for rangatahi to be safe while they receive the support they need to find adequate accommodation.
Lifewise believes that though motels may play an important role in a crisis response to homelessness, they cannot be the sole emergency response for people in need of urgent housing.
If we want to end homelessness in Aotearoa, and keep our young people safe while we do it, we need to invest in solutions that will work.