FACTS ON HOMELESSNESS IN BRISBANE
The Australian Census Analytic Program (ACA) - Counting the Homeless 2006, breaks down homelessness into three categories
- Primary Homelessness - people without conventional accommodation, living on the streets, sleeping in parks, squatting in derelict buildings, or using cars or railway carriages for temporary shelter.
- Secondary Homelessness – people frequently moving from one form of temporary shelter to another eg. emergency or transitional accommodation supported by Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP).
- Tertiary Homelessness – people living in boarding houses medium- long term. This is considered within the category of homelessness as the accommodation situation is below minimum standard of a self-contained flat.
In accordance with the above definition, 2011 Census found a total of 4,324 homeless people in Brisbane with 1,943 found in Inner City Brisbane.
The demographic with the largest growth of homelessness nationally in 2006 were families with children. There was also an increase in the number of children under the age of 12 who were homeless.
The Access and Equity team within Brisbane City Council, conduct audits of Green Space twice yearly in a 5km radius of the city centre visiting over 400 parks in one night. This represents only a segment of the homeless population who are sleeping rough in parks and bus shelters but does not include people in emergency accommodation, people sleeping on private property, or people staying with friends or family (often referred to as “couch surfing”).
A range of studies and reports show that people with mental health or substance abuse issues have particular difficulty in maintain housing. Homelessness is not simply the absences of a house. A range of other issues impact the ability of a person to maintain housing, including difficulty in managing issues such as illness, domestic violence, a history of abuse and other matters that impact on their ability sustain a tenancy.
People ‘sleeping rough’ are concentrated in the CBD but people in tertiary accommodation (1,663 in the 2011 census) are also located in the CBD. These people are often hard to identify and reach and are often not linked in to homelessness services.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 17.9% of Queenslanders (or just under 1 in every 5 people) have a disability. 150,000 of those have a severe disability which requires them to have assistance to do every day things that most of us take for granted, things such as take care of ourselves, being mobile and communicating.
Almost 90% of all disabilities are not visible.