Helping Homeless Youth Living Rough at Christmas - 96five Family Radio

Helping Homeless Youth Living Rough at Christmas

Carinity Orana supports young people on Christmas Day and throughout the season, helping to create a sense of belonging.

By 96five NetworkThursday 17 Dec 2020ChristmasReading Time: 2 minutes

Main Image: Dave McNair at the Carinity Orana youth accommodation in north Brisbane.

Christmas is a time for joy, togetherness and family – but when that’s no longer available it can lead to despair.

For young people disconnected from their families, the holiday season can be anything but festive.

Relationship breakdown continues to remain the major reason why young people experience homelessness.

Carinity Orana in Bald Hills in north Brisbane provides crisis accommodation for young people aged 16 to 19 years.

It typically sees an increase in referrals during this time of year.

“Christmas more than any other time is a reminder of family connection. It can be a difficult time for many young people as they are often estranged from their families,” Carinity Orana Program Manager Dave McNair says.

“Alienation from families for many young people experiencing homelessness can often result in them turning to alcohol or illicit drug use to manage the pain.  Many in this situation experience Christmas alone or with few friends.”

Carinity Orana supports young people on Christmas Day and throughout the season, helping to create a sense of belonging.

“We put on a Christmas lunch which is lots of fun. For many young people it has been so long since they have had any family connection and Christmas is just another day on the calendar,” Dave says.

“Showing young people they are valued at this time of year is so important.” Christmas lunch at Carinity Orana is about valuing people for who they are.

“We do this also by providing presents and providing a fun social outing whether it be going to a theme park or doing a high ropes course – something they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do.”

Dave says people can support Carinity Orana’s residents this Christmas by donating items such as non-perishable foods, new bed linen and gift cards.

If you can help call (07) 3550 3737 or donate online at carinity.org.au/get- involved/donate.