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Each year too many Australians experience homelessness or find themselves in circumstances that put them at risk of becoming homeless. People of all ages, genders, cultural backgrounds and personal circumstances can find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness at some time in their life. In response, Australian governments deliver a range of services specifically designed to reduce the incidence or frequency of homelessness and the impact it has on people and families.

In 2009-10, 219,900 people (or 1 in every 100 Australians) used government-funded specialist homelessness services. Of these, 135,700 (62%) were clients and 84,100 (38%) were children accompanying clients.

In 2009-10, young people, particularly young women, children, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, were significant users of specialist homelessness services. Clients were supported for an average of 64 days and, when accommodated, were accommodated for an average of 60 days. Family groups generally had longer periods of support and accommodation than people who presented on their own.

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