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Vinnies urges more than band-aid for homeless kids


Building more homeless shelters is simply putting a band-aid on a massive social problem, St Vincent de Paul Society's Queensland president Tim O'Connor said.

The Catholic Leader quotes Mr O'Connor's assertion that while the society supported the finding of the 2001 youth census report released on 16 July, it is important for governments to acknowledge the causes.

"Unless the causes are addressed, we will simply be like a child going to the ocean and putting in a teaspoon of sugar and saying 'oh look I'm sweetening the ocean'."

The report found that Australia's youth homelessness has grown 8.4% in the last seven years to more than 26,000 people aged 12 to 18.

The Federal Government has been reported as saying it's tackling the problem with grants and a task force. It has called for the states to implement school-based prevention programs.

Mr O'Connor said the main causes of youth homelessness are family breakdown, poor education and financial pressures.

"One of the biggest causes of family breakdown is finance and we're doing what we can to support families in this area," Mr O'Connor said.

LINKS
YOUTH Homelessness 2001 Census Released (RMIT media release)
Vinnies

SOURCE
Catholic Leader


26 Jul 2002