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Why do People Really Become Homeless?

On any given night in Australia one-in-200 people are homeless.

Few would disagree that this number is far too high, but there is much debate about why people become homeless in the first place.

Rough sleepers are the most visible of the homeless population, but it is actually much larger than just those sleeping on the streets.

Being “homeless” includes anyone whose housing conditions don’t qualify as a decent “home” – like squatting in abandoned buildings, having to stay with relatives or friends temporarily when there is no alternative, or staying in a caravan park, boarding house, hotel or crisis accommodation.

If we’re going to really address the huge challenge of homelessness and design policies that really work, we need to better understand why people become homeless in the first place.

And there is a significant perception gap between what the general public think about why people become homeless, and what people who have experienced homelessness say – particularly when it comes to substance use.

To view the full ProBono article, click here.

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