Thousands of Victorian youth are sleeping rough or couch surfing despite reaching out to homelessness services, aid groups say.
More than 3500 young people aged from 15 to 24 across the state were still homeless despite seeking help in the 2017/18 financial year, according to figures released by the Council to Homeless Persons.
One in 12 Indigenous Australians experienced homelessness last year, according to the council, meaning they are six times more likely to experience homelessness that the general population.
“These numbers are heartbreaking. Our young people deserve so much more than this. All young people should have the safety of a roof over their heads,” chief executive Jenny Smith said.
More than 20,000 people in the same age bracket asked for help in the 2017-2018 period.
“Victoria desperately needs housing solutions that young people can afford, and support for them to move into independent housing, or to reunite with family,” Ms Smith said.
She said the organisation's analysis of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data showed almost 10,000 youth were able to get housing after seeking help.
Another 3000 were able to get short-term accommodation, but finding a place to rent is often impossible for young people at risk of homelessness.
The organisation is calling for rental subsidies and extra support for homelessness services to help a further 1000 young Victorians find a home.