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Governments across Australia fund a range of services to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These services are delivered by non-government organisations including agencies specialising in delivering services to specific target groups (such as young people or people experiencing domestic and family violence), as well as those that provide more generic services to people facing housing crises.

The Specialist homelessness services 2015–16 web report is the fifth annual report from the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC). It describes the characteristics of clients of specialist homelessness services, the services requested, outcomes achieved, and unmet requests for services during 2015–16.

In 2015–16

Grpahic shows a crowd of people


people were assisted by specialist homelessness agencies across Australia, equivalent to 1 in 85 Australians. Six in 10 clients were female and 1 in 4 were Indigenous.

They received over 22 million days of support and about 7 million nights of accommodation.

Graphic shows a crowd being turned away from an agency door.


requests for assistance were unable to be met each day.

Stacked bar charts for males and females compare <15 years and >15 years.

Almost 2 in 5

clients sought support for domestic and family violence. The age and sex of these clients varied considerably within this group.

Graphic for 1 in 10 people.

About 1 in 10

were clients with disability and of these, over one-third (nearly 10,000) needed assistance with self-care, mobility and/or communication activities.

Graphic for 1 in 4

1 in 4

clients who received assistance from a specialist homelessness agency were experiencing a current mental health issue. This is over 72,000 people.

Pie chart showa 52% young people presenting alone were homeless.


of young people presenting alone were homeless at the time they sought support.

Pie chart shows 1 in 4 clients were Indigenous.

Indigenous clients

continue to be over-represented among homelessness service users. 1 in 4 were Indigenous, compared with just 1 in 33 of the population overall.

Graphic shows remote areas are greater than major city areas.

The more remote the area

the greater the proportion of clients needing short-term accommodation.

Bar chart compares 6 in 10 with 4 in 10.

6 in 10

older clients (59%) lived alone prior to accessing specialist homelessness services.

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