Youth Homelessness

 

  1. An introduction to the social justice issue outlining why this issue requires collective action.

The reduction of income support for individuals on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance will significantly impact youths capability to obtain accommodation thus preventing homelessness. This is evident in the statistic of approximately 44,000 youth who are experiencing homelessness. This displays 42% of the homeless population (Flatau et al., n.d.). This emphasises the requirement for collective action as homelessness is a symptom of societal inequality and marginalisation (Friere 2000). We aim to diminish the social prejudice and discrimination experienced by this oppressed community. Additionally, the statement  “Be the change you want to see in the world” invokes us to collectively take action if one were to desire change (Muhammad 2016, p. 23). Being passionate young agents of change we recognise our own privilege and want to utilise our roles to collectively engage in social action toward change for Youth homelessness (Friere, 2000). By creating change, an increase of consciousness of the issues in society is recognised (Muhammad, 2016). As Youth Allowance is a significant source of income assistance for youth that are experiencing homelessness exceeding over 50% of each cohort stating they required government assistance (Flatau et al., n.d.). As well as the importance of creating awareness of the likelihood of homelessness occurring personally in an individuals life. As there is a prevalence of youth homelessness within contemporary Australia, the effectiveness of resource aid to achieve an adequate standard of living is insufficient which demonstrates the need for collective action (Klineberg et al., 2017).

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  1. The aims of the social action project and a narrowed/achievable goal.

The objective of the youth homelessness social action project is to collect signatures for a petition against the lowering of the Youth allowance rate which will be addressed to Liverpool’s local member of parliament. We will be utilising the Zoom forum and use the units discussion forum to display an open invitation to students in week 12. Participants will be encouraged to digitally sign the petition. In addition, participants can also choose to engage in a discussion with us and other participants. Also, they are free to share their own personal experiences and views towards the current topic of youth homelessness and how the lowered rate will affect this disadvantaged group. Moreover, our aim isn’t to just strictly petition, but to create a forum of awareness and discussion that encourages deeper understanding of the importance of collective action toward alleviating Youth Homelessness.

  1. A campaign plan – that is the methods and strategies the group proposes to utilise to achieve their social action goal (and why), including a timeline for key tasks.
  • Construct a digital petition against the lowering of the Youth allowance rate
  • Choose a time for our Zoom meeting/ Signature collection to take place
  • Contact the WSU newsletter team and also Community and Social Action teachers to post on discussion forums/ newsletters
  • Advertise our forum providing a link to the digital petition for those who can’t make it
  • Hold the zoom forum
  • Construct our communication including signatures and perspectives from those who have attended
  • Send our petition to Paul Lynch (local member of Parliament)

 

  1. The possible impact of their proposed social action campaign.

Positive impacts:

  • Using our passionate voices as young people impacted on the ground, adding upward pressure to local government a “down -up” approach (Freire 2000) inspired by activists like Boochani (2018).
  • Petition can be added to strengthen evidence to support local members in showcasing to more mainstream audiences local youth disdain toward Youth Allowance lowering
  • Assist in the development of a sense of awareness and understanding amongst Western Sydney students on the effects that a lack of financial assistance can contribute to the maintenance of marginalisation and inequality within society
  • Reinforcing the need for change within macro level institutions that are impacting resource accessibility for young people experiencing homlessness
  • creating a safe space for people to share the positive role he increased the Youth allowance program has had on them.

Negative impacts:

  • Individuals questioning the effectiveness of petitions and its capability to create valuable change within government support services (Hough, 2012).
  • The negative connotation “welfare” has in general may apply here as the introduction of “more money” to an individual without the wider acknowledgement of the complex factors that impact them may not lead to a long lasting overturning of their own oppression (Friere, 2000).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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