Homelessness in Australia

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StreetSmart’s Role

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Homelessness In The News

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Homelessness Reports

On any given night across Australia, more than 105,000 people are homeless.

Together we can change that!

Because we believe everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home.

Who Experiences Homelessness?

Homelessness impacts men and women at similar rates. Women often have young children — and nearly half of all homeless are under the age of 25. A disproportionate number are indigenous, or born overseas. Facing barriers to things like employment and private rental, or lacking in strong social support networks place people at a higher risk of homelessness. This is why specialised community supports are a vital part of addressing the issue.

105,000 people are homeless 

56% are male and 44% female

42% of those effected are under 25

25% are indigenous & 30% are born overseas

Where Do People Stay?

Although rough sleeping is a growing issue across Australian communities, the most common way that people experience homelessness is ‘severely overcrowded’ dwellings, and moving between kinds other of insecure accomodation. This journey is often unsafe, and creates new risks the the health and wellbeing of those effected.

6% are rough sleeping, often for a short time

17% are boarding or couch surfing

20% are in supported accomodation

39% are in overcrowded dwellings

What Leads to People Becoming Homeless? 

Homelessness is complex, with each person having a different journey. Homelessness is often the end point to a series of life events, and the people who are homeless are not who you may think. 

Domestic violence and a the lack of affordable housing are the single largest contributors to homelessness. Other contributors include poor mental health, family breakdown, debt, poverty, leaving state care, or leaving prison.

13% suffer from mental illness

14% sudden loss of employment 

34% escaping domestic violence

54% unable to afford housing

What StreetSmart is Doing to Help

We fundraise and support grassroots projects that tackle homelessness. These smaller organisations provide vital frontline services, but struggle with a lack of resources. In close collaboration with the sector, we raise funds to support the development of innovative projects, and seek to address gaps in funding.

Because homelessness is complex, we support a range of services – from people in crisis, supporting people into housing, and seed-funding good ideas that help create pathways out of homelessness. Community organisations are an important part of our social safety net, and in collaboration with individuals, business and corporate partners our mission is to lend a helping hand.

Cafe smart unites the coffee industry and coffee lovers to raise funds to support local homelessness services in their local area.

In the lead up to Christmas DineSmart brings together restaurants and diners to raise funds for homeless services in the local area.

StreetFunder is an online giving program that supports one (or more projects each month), boosted by match-giving sponsors.

Our Community Impact

$4,484,952

Funds Raised

1,418

Projects Funded

506

Organisations Supported

Learn More

There are lots of specialist organisations that work to end homelessness, and assist our understanding of how to end it. The facts and figures you find on the StreetSmart website are compiled from these key sources.

Homelessness Australia is the national peak body for homelessness in Australia.

The Australia Institute of Health and Welfare publish reports and data on homelessness services in Australia.

The Council to Homeless Persons is the peak body representing organisations and individuals in Victoria.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates homelessness in its Census of Population and Housing. 2016 Census data will be available in 2018.

Other Reports

Asking for Change – Justice Connect, 17 Oct 2016
Making Social Housing Work – Council of Homeless Persons, March 2014
Lifetime and intergenerational experiences of homelessness in Australia – Australian Policy Online, 27 Feb 2013
Addressing Housing Affordability In Australia – Australian for Affordable Housing, September 2011
Poverty and its Causes – ACOSS Oct 2011
ROUGH LIVING Surviving Violence & Homelessness – UTSePress 2010
Federal Government White Paper – The Road Home –  White Paper 2008

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