Responding to homelessness in Queensland

During the recent launch of the recent Council of Homeless Persons’ Parity Magazine there were a number of startling facts highlighted in regard to homelessness across Australia.

In just 5 years the number of people experiencing homelessness in Australia has risen by more than 14,000 (or nearly 14%), according to the Census 2016 data recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  

Amongst the most concerning trends revealed in the data are:

  • a 27.7% increase in homelessness among people aged 55+
  • 39% of the homeless population is under 25 years of age
  • women’s homelessness has risen faster than the population growth
  • 8,200Australians are rough sleeping(up 20% since 2011)
  • 51,088 people are in severely overcrowded homes (up 23% since 2011)
  • 1-in-5 people homeless are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander – despite on making up 2.8% of the Australian population, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people represent 22% of the homeless population

We’re committed to preventing and responding to homelessness in our community, with programs such as Youth CONNECT and Supported People in Share Housing (SPiN) helping young people to avoid homelessness.

A range of studies and surveys suggest that young people leaving statutory care might expect to experience some of the following devastating life outcomes:

  • 35% will be homeless within one year, and more than 50% will have experienced homelessness within five years
  • 29% will be unemployed
  • 47% will have some involvement with the criminal justice system
  • 53% will only complete Year 10 or below, while only 35% will complete Year 12
  • 22% will have unacceptably low literacy and numeracy levels
  • 53% will experience substance abuse
  • 53% will experience clinically significant emotional and behaviour difficulties
  • Approximately 30% will be pregnant or parents themselves when they leave care, with 54% of their children removed from them and placed on care and protection orders, thereby perpetuating the intergenerational experience of children in care.

To expect these young people to have the instantaneous capacity to live successfully when they leave care is unrealistic, yet there has been almost no investment or focus on helping them through this transition. Yet with early intervention can turn the course of their lives. Our Youth CONNECT program provides this intervention and provides the support these vulnerable young people need to build their capacity and create a stronger future for themselves.

Churches of Christ Housing Services and Ipswich Independent Youth Services pilot program SPiN provides a safe and stable home with the support of experienced case managers to help young people overcome barriers to independence, and out of homelessness.

You can read about these programs in the magazine.

Visit the Council of Homeless Persons website, where you can subscribe to the monthly Parity Magazine.

Posted April 10, 2018 in Our blog