What is Homelessness?

‘Home’ means more than just having a roof over our heads. It means secure, safe and sustainable accommodation. Having certainty around ‘home’ allows us to focus on other things that are important to living well.

Homelessness is the opposite. It is NOT living with safety and certainty.

Homelessness includes people living in:

  • Caravans
  • Squats
  • Cars
  • Refuges
  • Boarding houses
  • Cheap motels
  • Emergency Accommodation
  • Insecure housing

Every night in Australia, more than 100 000 people are homeless; of these 14 000 sleep rough on the streets. Close to half are women – many with children.

A woman at risk of homelessness has nowhere else to go. Sometimes home might be violent and unsafe. Or there may be issues with tenancy. Some women will have led secure lives and suddenly find themselves in a housing crisis. Moving from one temporary solution to another, such as couch surfing, is also defined as homelessness.

People become homeless for many reasons. Domestic and family violence are the biggest single contributors. Other factors include mental illness, family breakdown, gambling, financial difficulties, debt lease expiry, a lack of affordable housing and accommodation, substance abuse or health problems.

With rehousing, women have the opportunity to live independent lives and are freed to expand their possibilities in work, health and positive relationships.

Not everyone needs the same kind of housing assistance. Bonnie’s offers crisis accommodation, transitional housing and support to find a home in the private rental market or through Housing NSW.

For those women who are also victims of domestic violence, Start Safely is a program that provides financial help to secure private rental accommodation.

We believe that if given the right support services, all people can achieve sustainable and safe housing.

Be strong: find home.

Read Lucy’s story…