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‘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

National

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

Queensland

  • 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

Victoria

Western Australia

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

Northern Territory

Tasmania

  • 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.