uses cookies to give you the best experience. Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy.

Need a pick me up? Share a random word of kindness.


‘Homelessness’ doesn’t just mean living on the streets. Being homeless is when you haven’t got a safe or stable place to live. Find out about homelessness and where to get help.

This can help if:

  • you’re at risk of becoming homeless
  • you are homeless
  • you want to know what services are available to assist someone who is homeless.
Man in grey zip hoodie

About homelessness

If you’re without a home, you’re not alone – 100,000 Australians are in the same boat, and one-third of them are age 12–25. Not having a home isn’t just about shelter; it can also mean you don’t have regular access to food, a place to clean yourself, a bathroom, friends, support and warmth.

Levels of homelessness

Homelessness doesn’t look the same for everyone. Here are a few of the different levels of homelessness that people might experience:

  • Plugging the gap – staying with friends or relatives, in temporary housing, or between different places.
  • Boarding – usually in group houses with little security.
  • Sleeping rough –in cars, parks or bus shelters, or in empty houses (squatting).

Why does someone become homeless?

Many different factors can contribute to someone becoming homeless:

  • violence or abuse in the home
  • family breakdown
  • money problems
  • illness
  • disability
  • addiction.

Help with homelessness


New South Wales

South Australia

  • Trace-a-Place (HPYA – Helping Young People Achieve), Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm: 1300 306 046 or 1800 807 364 (free call)
  • Crisis Care (24 hours): 13 16 11
  • A full list of SA accommodation services can be found on the South Australian Government website


  • Department of Communities – Homelessness: 1800 47 47 53 or 1800 010 222 (TTY Service)
  • Crisis Care, Monday to Friday, 5 pm to 9 am; weekends – all day: (07) 3225 1573 OR 1800 642 902 (free call)
  • A full list of QLD accommodation services can be found on the Queensland Government website


Western Australia

  • Crisis Care: (08) 9325 1111 OR 1800 199 008

Northern Territory


  • PASS – Placement and Support Service: 1800 24 32 32
  • A full list of TAS accommodation services can be found on the Linkzone website

What can I do now?

  • Contact Kids Helpline or Lifeline if you need someone to talk to.
  • Stay in touch with friends and trusted family members.
  • Find out your legal rights by visiting the Lawstuff website.

Explore other topics

It's not always easy to find the right place to start. Our 'What's on your mind?' tool can help you explore what's right for you.

What's on your mind?