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The objectives of this report are twofold. First, to collate and assess the current evidence base on the state of homelessness in Australia and its key drivers. Second, to set out an evidence-informed policy and practice agenda towards ending homelessness in Australia.

This examination of the current state of homelessness draws on publicly available Australian Census and Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) data and national data sources on the drivers of homelessness.

The report also presents the first detailed examination of the consolidated national Advance to Zero database for the decade 2010-2020. The database is a community organisation led and controlled database built on advance to zero homelessness projects (the Zero Projects).

Homelessness is a complex problem. If we are to end it, we need to understand and engage all levers available to us. The rapid and varied responses to homelessness during COVID-19 come with positive and negative lessons; documenting these lessons will help to leverage the facilitators and avoid the pitfalls in future efforts to end homelessness.

  • Part I of the report provides a heuristic ending homelessness model, a brief outline of the history of homelessness policy in Australia, and an overview of the state of homelessness in terms of the size, structure, and nature of Australia’s homeless population.
  • Part II provides insights into the circumstances of people experiencing homelessness in Australia and their journeys through homelessness and into housing, utilising the Advance to Zero database.
  • Part III reflects on progress towards ending homelessness in the policy and practice environment by examining policies and initiatives that drive towards an end to homelessness in Australia.
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