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Homelessness fact sheet

"I think homelessness is an absolute tragedy. To feel that you don't belong anywhere, that you have no home to shelter in, and no one to support you. It is one of the most distressing experiences a person can have..." Major David Eldridge

What is homelessness?

A person is considered homeless if they do not have suitable accommodation and their current living arrangement:

  • is in a dwelling that is inadequate;
  • has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable; or
  • does not allow them to have control of, and access to, space for social relations.

Source: Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness, 2012 (cat. no. 4922.0)

Homelessness can affect anyone you know - your neighbour, your friends, even your family can experience homelessness. 

Why are people homeless?

Over 100,000 Australians will be homeless tonight

42% people experiencing homelessness are under 24 years old and 17,845 are children under 12.

The largest cause of homelessness in Australia is domestic and family violence.

255,657 people accessed homelessness support services and nearly 7 million nights of accommodation were provided by homelessness services from 2014 – 2015.

Source: Homelessness Australia

The most recent census in 2016 found that:

There were 116,427 people classified as being homeless in the 2016 Census, up from 102,439 persons in 2011.

The homeless rate was 50 persons for every 10,000 persons, up from the 48 persons in 2011 and the 45 persons in 2006.

Most of the increase in homelessness between 2011 and 2016 was reflected in "persons living in 'severely' crowded dwellings", up from 41,370 in 2011 to 51,088 in 2016.

The number of homeless persons living in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out in the 2016 Census was 8,200, up from 6,810 in 2011.

Source: ABS 2016 Census

How does The Salvation Army help?

People who are homeless often need some help getting back on their feet. Homelessness is one of the most distressing things a person can experience and the recovery process is a journey.

The Salvation Army doesn't just offer emergency accommodation. Through our network of services we journey with people to help bring them back into society, strong and equipped to fulfil their valuable role in the community. We look at each person’s situation and provide a tailored program to suit their needs.

But we can’t do it without you. We rely on the compassion and generosity of the Australian public who enable us to help those experiencing homelessness in our community.

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

13 SALVOS (13 72 58)

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