It's hard to imagine living on the streets, where a piece of cardboard could be your pillow, your bed, your roof, your home.
Every night across Australia, more than 100,000 people are homeless, of these 14,000 sleep rough. Every day, two out of three people who look for crisis accommodation are turned away; there are ‘no vacancies’.
Many end up on the street or living in inadequate single rooms, caravans, squats, cars, refuges, or sleeping on friends' couches. Vast numbers of our fellow Australians live in these dangerous and miserable conditions.
Each has a different journey into homelessness, and they are not who you may think. Close to half the homeless are female — many with young children — and nearly half of all homeless are under the age of 25.
A recent study by SAAP showed that domestic/family violence was the biggest single contributor to homelessness. Other major contributors are poor mental health, family breakdown, debt, poverty, lease expiry, family violence and abuse, chronic gambling and substance addiction. This is a long way from the favoured media image of our homeless population. It is a national disgrace that, in some areas, four out of five of those seeking help are suffering from a mental illness, but have nowhere else to go.
Recent Government paper: 2008 White Paper from the Rudd Government
Homelessness Australia have published some fact sheets
Homelessness in the news
For the latest news articles on homelessness click through here.
Take a look at other groups that are concern about homelessness through here.