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     Photo: Centre for Homelessness Impact/ Liam McBurney/PA 

What is driving our increasing homelessness crisis?

Recently, a staggering 7.5% increase in people seeking homelessness support was recorded…in just 4 months. That’s 1,600 people each month being pushed into homelessness. The rise in families and people who are homeless was also reported in the Census 2021 Data (up 5%) and the latest Homelessness Monitor (8%). The trend is known and stories from the frontline tell us the key drivers.

The combination of a decades in the making housing and rental crisis and the inescapable cost-of-living pressures are making it unrealistic and near impossible for basic needs to be met. In the past year alone, capital city rents have increased by over 13% along with rise in food and petrol. National vacancy rates remain dismally low (at 1%) compared to the benchmark (of 2-3%). In Fact, those seeking homelessness help due to financial and housing stress rose by 11%

People are needing to choose between unnegotiable basics like food, medicine, transport, and rent. Families are being driven out of their homes by rising rents and facing a completely unaffordable housing market. People are turning to tents, caravans, the street, and their cars as places to sleep.

“Our clients are trying to prioritise what they spend their limited income on, sacrificing things to get by. After paying for some essentials (like housing and bills), little is left for other basic needs (like food). Many are being forced into less than adequate housing options or homelessness while public housing waitlists grow longer.”


people pushed into homelessness each month


of people turned away from specialist homelessness services are women and children


of Australian households are skipping meals and going hungry

The different stories of those in need 

Photo: Centre for Homelessness Impact, *Image is not of Connor

Connor and Max

50 year old Connor and his best furry friend Max have been sleeping rough for about 6 months. A long waitlist for the pet-friendly crisis accommodation keeps the pair street present and in boarding houses when possible. Connor was evicted from the family home and is now struggling to stay safe and healthy without a safe home, and finds the housing market too complex to navigate with a pet. 

Pet owners experiencing homelessness face specific challenges and discrimination in finding and accessing the support they need. Although pets are a huge source of comfort, security, and wellbeing for those who are homeless, furry friends are also a limiting factor in finding safe housing and accommodation. There are limited options for pet-friendly accommodation and so for the increasing number of people with their companion animals in cars, caravan parks, tents, and street corners who have been pushed out of the housing market – getting support and ending their homelessness is that much harder.

Sarah’s family

Sarah and her family of 2 children are asylum seekers. Sarah’s husband has a chronic health issue and the family haven’t been able to pay their rent for several months due to the cost of medical treatment. Sarah has recently received letters about overdue bills and school fees. The children often have no school lunch and Sarah skips meals to make sure there is enough.

Photo: Liam McBurney/PA/ Centre for Homelessness, *Image is not of Sarah and Family

When people are struggling to make ends meet, food is often the first to go. The increasing rates (up 10%  in the last year) of Australians experiencing food security is grim marker of the families and individuals at risk of homelessness. The recent Food Bank Hunger report reveals that 3.7 million households are eating less, skipping meals, and going hungry to make thier income cover other essentials. 

Photo: Jeff Hubbard/PA Wire/Centre for Homelessness Impact, *Image is not of Sam


Sam has been in and out of homelessness for a few years and has finally secured a house of their own. Being a young person without a home for a while, Sam has so few possessions and is trying to survive on JobSeeker. Setting up the new home with essential items would be near impossible, alone. Sam’s support worker had some flexible brokerage to pay the bond and help Sam buy a fridge to put food in, a bed to sleep on, and essential cleaning products.

Supporting people with tangible essential items as they create a new home doesn’t just help end homelessness but helps prevent a re-experience. As rents have soared (13%) and vacancy rates plummeted (1%) people are being driven out of unaffordable properties with few other options to explore. When people are able to secure a new safe house, they have few belongings or budget to make it liveable. This kind of support helps bridge the stressful and expensive experience of starting over with nothing, helping people avoid going back into immediate debt when purchasing essentials like furniture, white goods, or kitchenware.

Our Response and Support

 We are asking our community to choose how they make a difference by supporting our Housing response, Food Response, and Pet Response. Through Housing, donations help provide tenancy and accommodation support including household essentials to help set people up in their new homes after homelessness. Through Food, donations help fund food relief so that families and individuals facing cost of living pressures can receive the support they need. Through Pets, donations support pet-inclusive responses to rough sleeping and homelessness, helping keep pets and people together and cared for.

Prevention is an important part of our homelessness response and no matter what area of impact you choose, you will be helping people keep a roof over their head as well as food on the table, maintain their tenancy, and safeguard against future experiences of homelessness.

This end of year, chose the difference you make

As the year draws to a close we are rallying our generous community of supporters, friends and donors, and inviting you all to learn more and direct support where you chose. Funds raised will help create safe new homes with all the essentials, feed people and families going hungry and skipping meals, and care for those with furry friends who are sleeping rough or without a stable home.

Your donations are channelled directly to organisations on the ground, caring for those in need with tenancy and accommodation, food relief, and pet inclusive support. We know the power of local led responses, and so target our support to existing programs and organisations, already responding innovatively to their community’s needs.