Who Experiences Homelessness?
Homelessness impacts more men than women, and it impacts them differently. Domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness for women, while men are more likely to experience chronic homelessness. 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.
122,494 people are homeless
56% are male and 44% female
58% of those affected are under 35
20% are indigenous & 46% 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 around between other kinds of insecure accommodation. This journey is often unsafe, and creates new risks for the health and wellbeing of those effected.
6% are rough sleeping, often for a short time
15% are boarding and couch surfing
20% are in supported accommodation
40% 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.
10% suffer from mental illness
14% sudden loss of employment
34% escaping domestic violence
54% unable to afford housing
Browse the latest articles, reports, documentaries, and publications to learn more about homelessness and its intersections with domestic violence, poverty, the criminal justice system, LGBTQIA+ communities and housing policy.
We have lots more resources for school students wanting to learn more about homelessness in Australia and how they can help. Click the button above to check out our program, Schools for Change, where you can find classroom activities and helpful fundraising tips.
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
Without a Home ABC Fact Check and RMIT University Social and Global Studies Centre
Homelessness is a Human Rights Issue (2008) Australian Human Rights Commission