‘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.
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
Help with homelessness
- Centrelink appointments: 13 10 21
- Reconnect (for young people age 12–18)
- Homelessness Australia: (02) 6247 7744
New South Wales
- Link2home is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 152 152
- A full list of NSW-based accommodation services can be found on the NSW Family & Community Services website
- 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
- St Kilda Crisis Contact Centre, seven days a week, 10 am to 12 midnight: (03) 9536 7777 OR 1800 627 727 (toll free or country Victoria)
- Safe Steps (24 hours): (03) 9373 0123 OR 1800 015 188 (toll free)
- A full list of VIC accommodation services can be found on the Department of Human Services website
- Crisis Care: (08) 9325 1111 OR 1800 199 008
- Youth Accommodation Services – Alice Springs: (08) 8953 4200
- PASS – Placement and Support Service: 1800 24 32 32
- A full list of TAS accommodation services can be found on the Linkzone website