You are considered homeless if you do not have access to safe, suitable accommodation (accommodation would be unsuitable if it is unsafe or overcrowded) or you only have a temporary place to stay, such as a friend’s house.
Homelessness Week is an annual national event used to raise awareness and provide information around the impacts of homelessness and the actions needed to provide solutions and support for those experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness Week is coordinated by Homelessness Australia over the first full week in August. This is usually one of the coldest times of year, when people are particularly vulnerable to sleeping rough in the winter elements.
Homelessness Australia usually announce a theme for discussion during every Homelessness Week.
The number of people experiencing homelessness nationally is difficult to know. One way to have a rough estimate is to look at the number of people homeless services help. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, across 2020-2021 over 270 thousand Australians received homelessness services and support.
According to Homelessness Australia there were 116,427 people across Australia classified as being homeless on Census night in 2016.
Homelessness prevention refers to the policies, practices and interventions put in place to help you if you are facing homelessness. There are five levels of homelessness prevention: structural prevention, systems prevention, early intervention, eviction prevention, and housing stability.
Structural prevention is to do with government. This can mean the government introducing laws to reduce homelessness.
Systems prevention refers to system reforms, like improving access to health care services and affordable housing.
Early prevention means helping people that are newly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. For example, case management support for you or your family to address the risk factors that may cause you to become homeless.
Eviction prevention refers to ways of keeping people facing eviction in their homes and therefore avoiding homelessness.
Housing stability is a two stage response:
- first you are offered support so you can leave homelessness
- then you are offered support to stay in the new situation and make sure you are not at risk of homelessness again.
For example, you could be offered support to gain greater education and employment.
You can visit Homelessness Australia to find more information about Homelessness Week and how you can get involved.
Windermere offers a range of support services if you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless. This includes support if you are facing homelessness due to family violence.
You can find out more on receiving a referral for our services here.
In an emergency call 000.