In 2011–12, 16,300 couch surfing adults (those aged 18 and over or aged 15–17 presenting to services alone) sought assistance from Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS).
This report presents an analysis of these clients, providing a profile of their service use over a 4-year period using the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC). Couch surfers are among the most hidden groups of people experiencing homelessness. They tend to be a transient group and therefore can be difficult to identify (Moore 2017). The concept of couch surfing acknowledges that homelessness is not ‘rooflessness’; that there are people who may not be sleeping rough but who cannot be considered to be stably housed (Moore 2017).
Couch surfing can be a precursor to chronic homelessness, thereby making couch surfers an important group for targeted policies, programs and services.