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Housing and Homelessness Youth Women Latest News

Young pregnant women and youth with babies hard hit by cost of living crisis 

2 min read

Charities addressing youth homelessness are seeing an increase in the number of young pregnant women and young people with babies needing urgent help as the cost of living crisis continues. 

In the past year, youth homelessness charity Lighthouse Foundation has increased the number of young people it has cared for by an enormous 85 per cent. Among those requiring the most urgent care, pregnant young people, and youth with infants. 

Lighthouse Foundation CEO, Dr Eamonn McCarthy, said the charity has experienced an increased volume of referrals from child, family violence and health services in recent months. 

“Lighthouse Foundation provides care specifically for young people impacted by trauma and homelessness, and sadly we know the risk of family violence, intimate partner violence, mental health, isolation, and other adverse experiences increases around pregnancy and after birth,” Dr McCarthy said. 

“From what we’re seeing at Lighthouse, the current cost of living crisis has posed additional stressors on already vulnerable pregnant young people and their families, increasing rates of homelessness.” 

In the 2022-23 Financial Year, Lighthouse Foundation cared for eight young mums and their 10 small children aged 0 to 5 years, including providing more than 20,000 meals and 23,000 nappies and pull ups. 

The goal is to prevent the removal of young children from their parents by offering early intervention, and to safely reunite separated parents and infants. 

After giving birth to her son Jackson, young mum, Cindy, joined Lighthouse’s Young Parents and Babies Program, staying at the charity’s Therapeutic and Transitional Homes for 19 months. 

“Lighthouse has been rock solid during the toughest times of my life. I had a safe home to rebuild my life and create a loving environment for my son,” Cindy said. 

Through dedicated care in a consistent, reliable, and safe environment, Cindy gained the skills and confidence to parent her child and live independently, providing for her son. 

“I honestly don’t know if we would be together if Lighthouse hadn’t welcomed us.” 

The Young Parents and Babies Program is the focus of Lighthouse’s Festive Appeal. A $50 donation can provide a Welcome Kit for those entering the program, which includes toiletries for parent and baby, clothing, nappies, baby wipes, bottles, and toys. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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