‘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


  • Centrelink appointments: 13 10 21

  • Reconnect (for young people age 12–18)

  • Homelessness Australia: (02) 6247 7744

New South Wales

South Australia


  • 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

  • Housing Connect - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 800 588.

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.