Media Release by The Hon Luke Howarth MP

Decades of success recognised for Youth Homelessness Matters Day

On any given night in Australia approximately 116,427 Australians are homeless, almost one quarter of these are young people aged 12-24 years.

Family breakdown often forces young people to couch surf or street homelessness, and at a time when stress levels are high and Australians are being urged to stay home the Federal Government’s successful Reconnect Program has never been more important.

In 2019-20 the Federal Government contributed more than $23 million dollars to 71 community organisations to provide counselling, family mediation, support and specialised mental health services to prevent youth homelessness.

Today on Youth Homelessness Matters Day Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness, and Community Services Luke Howarth wants to draw attention to the great work Reconnect providers do, not just today, but everyday.

“Reconnect providers are on the frontline assisting our youngest and most vulnerable every day and they deserve sincere thanks for the valuable work they do and the incredible impact they have on young Australians.”

“In over twenty years the Reconnect Program has assisted hundreds of thousands of young people all over the country, it’s because of the dedication and work that these services provide that 81 per cent of clients accessing Reconnect services report an improvement in their circumstances.”

Assistant Minister Howarth said it’s important to understand the impact homelessness can have on a person, especially a young person, and the Morrison Government remains committed to ensuring all Australians have access to safe and secure housing.

The Morrison Government invests more than $6 billion a year to improve housing and homelessness outcomes, including more than $4.6 billion a year in Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to help eligible Australians pay rent and around $1.6 billion a year through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) to states and territories as well as dedicated homelessness funding.

In addition to this specialised funding the Government has also announced a $130 billion stimulus package to assist young people through Covid-19, and $200 million boost to community services to provide support to vulnerable people including assistance for paying bills and buying other essentials such as food, clothing and petrol.

The Government’s $118 million Reconnect program assists approximately 7,900 young people each year. New and existing Reconnect clients should contact their closest service provider in the first instance to determine if services are currently being provided via telecom or online in the wake of the coronavirus. Find out more at