Homelessness in Australia

Homelessness in Australia

This article describes homelessness in Australia. The majority of long term homeless people are found in the large cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

*Many of the current homeless population in Australia were previously mentally institutionalised.
*Mass deinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill began in Australia during the 1980s. In practice, this meant that the mentally ill were let out into the community, under the policy of "community release". The mentally ill are no longer supervised by health care workers, and are left to their own devices in regards to maintaining their personal medication regimens.

2001 Census Homelessness Figures

Of 100,000 homeless people in Australia on census night in 2001: [Australian Federation of Homeless Organisations. [http://afho.org.au/facts/stats/archives/2002_03/2002_2003.htm 2001 Census Statistics] . Retrieved 2006-05-30.]
* 54% were Male.
* 36% were between the age of 12-24.
* 10% were under the age of 12.
* 8.5% were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
* 23% were staying in boarding houses.
* 49% were staying with friends and relatives.
* 14% were sleeping rough.
* 14% were staying in services funded through the SAAP.

Causes according to census
* Domestic and family violence (22%)
* Eviction/previous accommodation ended (11%)
* Relationship/family breakdown (11%)
* Usual accommodation unavailable (11%)
* Financial Difficulty (10%)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics breaks the homeless numbers into 5 groups: [ [http://www.abs.gov.au Australian Bureau of Statistics ] ]

*'Rough sleepers' - people who are living on the streets, with no formal shelter at all.
*People with a space inside an Emergency shelter.
*Those temporarily residing with friends.
*Those living in Boarding houses.
*Those living in caravan parks.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Homelessness

A 2006 University of Sydney study of Sydney's homeless found a very high incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst the homeless. [ [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress factor in homelessness] ]

'Given that PTSD affects fewer than one in 60 people in Australia and is a "treatable condition", Kathryn's findings were striking: two in every five of the people she interviewed were suffering from PTSD, while more than three out of four had suffered from PTSD at some time in their life'. [ [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress factor in homelessness] ]

'"While the causal link between PTSD and homelessness would be difficult to confirm, the data does paint a picture of people who are traumatised, develop PTSD and are homeless," she explained'. [ [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress factor in homelessness] ]

'PTSD is a psychiatric anxiety disorder that develops from a traumatic event. A trauma, in the clinical sense, is when someone experiences, witnesses or is confronted with a death, a serious injury or a grave physical threat, and when they respond to that event with intense fear'. [ [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress factor in homelessness] ]

'She interviewed 70 people aged between 18 and 73 living on the street, or in drop-in centres and hostels. "More than 98 per cent reported experiencing at least one trauma in their lifetime. In 70.5 per cent of cases, PTSD preceded or coincided with the onset of homelessness," she explained'. [ [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress factor in homelessness] ]

'"This hard evidence recognising the high incidence of PTSD has enormous implications for service provisions for homeless people," said Kathryn. "There are effective treatments for the disorder but the homeless are not getting access to them," she explained'. [ [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress factor in homelessness] ]

ee also

*Mental health
*Public housing
*Post traumatic stress disorder
*Psychological trauma


External links

* [http://www.homeless.org.au Homelessness in Australia]
* [http://www.homeless.org.au/rebeccas-community/ Rebeccas Community]
* [http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/ Mission Australia]
* [http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/document-downloads/doc_download/10-homeless-young-australians Homeless Young Australians]
* [http://www.salvos.org.au/ Salvation Army Australia]
* [http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au Homelessness Australia]
* [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/rents-fuel-plight-of-homeless-young/2007/04/17/1176696838726.html Rents fuel plight of homeless young]
* [http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1044 The University of Sydney: Study reveals stress (PTSD) factor in homelessness]

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