According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Queensland had 24,569 who were identified as being homeless during the last census count. Per head of population Queensland has the second highest rate of homeless after Northern Territory. The Queensland average was 70 homeless people per 10,000 people compared with the National average of 53 homeless people per 10,000 people (ABS, 2004).

 2006 Census Homelessness Figures

Of 105,000 homeless people in Australia on census night in 2006:

  • 56% were Male.
  • 21% were between the age of 12-18.
  • 12% were under the age of 12.
  • 23% were staying in boarding houses.
  • 45% were staying with friends and relatives.
  • 16% were sleeping rough.
  • 14% were staying in accommodation provided by the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP).

Which means 44% were women.

Did you know?
More than 1 in 57 females in the 15 – 19 age group in Australia is homeless?
And with the added financial pressures, the number is continuing to rise.

Othila’s – which helps young women — had 600 requests for accommodation assistance from young women last year: it was able to respond to 18. (We hope this will improve with SCP assistance.)

Despite the good intentions of the Rudd Government and the obvious commitment that has been made to alleviate the many problems of homelessness, the system is still struggling to cope under today’s increased pressure. Many dedicated people working in the sector know that they could make a difference – but they just don’t have the resources to do so.

There aren’t enough services to be proactive, and to prevent women from entering the cycle of homelessness where it becomes increasingly difficult, and more expensive, to provide pathways back to a dignified life.

For example, there are numerous women who come to the door of hostels/ refuges seeking shelter – when there simply isn’t a bed: they must be turned away. As well as ‘shutting the door’ on a woman in such dire need, this necessary decision takes an awful toll on the hostel staff.

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