This Australian Bureau of Statistics report looks at the current homelessness statistics in Australia.
Homelessness is not just the result of too few houses – its causes are many and varied. Domestic violence, a shortage of affordable housing, unemployment, mental illness, family breakdown and drug and alcohol abuse all contribute to the level of homelessness in Australia.
Homelessness is not a choice. For some people, homelessness is an isolated event – it happens once and for a short time. For others, a small minority, homelessness is part of a chaotic and uncertain life of poverty and disadvantage. These people tend to cycle in and out of homelessness and when they do find housing, it tends to be short term.
People who are homeless are among the most marginalised people in Australia. Homelessness is one of the most potent examples of disadvantage in the community, and one of the most important markers of social exclusion (Department of Human Services Victoria, 2002). To have a socially inclusive Australia, all Australians need to have the capabilities, opportunities, responsibilities and resources to learn, work, engage and have a say (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2012). Homelessness freezes people out of opportunities that most Australians enjoy (FaHCSIA, 2008b).