Students from Dubbo and Narromine have written to our local politicians with their suggestions to end homelessness.
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Mission Australia held a series of workshops with Year 7, 8 and 12 students at Dubbo Christian School, Dubbo College Delory Campus and Narromine High School. They were held in August as part of Homelessness Week.
At the end of the sessions, the students wrote letters to the federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders.
Twelve-year-old Eamon from Dubbo College Delroy Campus said there needed to be shower stations in Dubbo and "printing stations so they can print resumes".
Charli, a 17-year-old from Dubbo Christian School, said she believed homlessness would be reduced if "there were accessible places for homeless youth to live in, and there were more employment opportunities for them".
Eighteen-year-old Ellie suggested "more refuges and shelters that allow those who are homeless to have a safe place to live [so] they don't have to wait on long lists".
Mackenzie, a 17-year-old from Narromine High School, said there needed to be more support and education about homlessness.
Mission Australia's youth assistance program case worker Cherry May said the workshops were a great opportunity for young people to learn about homelessness, while also having their voices heard by the local MPs.
"There's almost 300 people who are homeless here in Dubbo, and we also know that many others including young people are at risk of homelessness; particularly with the rental crisis and rising cost of living," she said.
"We discussed with students that locally, there's not enough social and affordable housing, rising living and rental costs are really hurting a lot of people, and then there's very serious concerns like domestic and family violence and mental health that come into play and push people into homelessness."
Ms May said Australia needed almost one million new social and affordable homes across the next 20 years to meet the growing need of the country's homelessness.
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