On any given night across Australia, more than 116,000 people are homeless.

Together we can change that!

While there are many types and causes of homelessness that make it a complex challenge, we know it is solvable.

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.

116,000 people are homeless 

59% are male and 41% female

60% 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.

7% are rough sleeping, often for a short time

15% are boarding and couch surfing

18% are in supported accommodation

44% 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

Learn More

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. In our library you will find resources to help to read, listen, and watch more about homelessness in Australia and across the globe.

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

Youth Projects Team

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