The Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) collects information about people who are referred to, or seek assistance from, specialist homelessness services (SHS) agencies. These services collect the data on an ongoing basis and are responsible for submitting the data to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on a monthly basis.

There are 2 parts to the SHSC – a Client collection and an Unassisted Persons collection:

  1. The Client collection captures information on adults and children who receive a service from an SHS agency.
  2. The Unassisted Person collection is used to gain information about adults and children whose request for service is not able to be met by an SHS agency.
Collection details
Classification/dimension variables
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Indigenous
  • RA
  • SA2
  • SA3
  • SA4
  • SLK

Temporal coverage 

from 1/7/2011

Geographical coverage

National and State

Data availability

  • Publications
  • Data cubes
  • Summary tables published in electronic form

Client specified tables on request which may be subject to data provider approval (charges apply).

Restricted unit record access subject to Ethics Committee approval and/or the agreement of all relevant data custodians in all states and territories (charges may apply).;

There are restrictions and limitations governing the availability or use of other data in this holding.

Data scope 

Client collection – The base unit is a person who presents to an SHS agency requesting services. A person becomes a ‘client’ once they receive a service(s). A ‘support period’ is the period of time a client receives assistance from a SHS agency. It relates to the provision of a service and/or supported accommodation. During a support period, a range of services additional to supported accommodation can be provided. Detail on types of services provided is also available.

Unassisted persons collection – Comprises information on the number of instances where a person received no immediate services from a SHS agency.

Details of all agencies participating in the SHSC are on the Specialist Homelessness Establishment Database file.

Information is submitted to the AIHW monthly.


Admin data

Metadata information and data quality statement (DQS)

(METEOR 689064)

SHSC DQS 2021–22
(METEOR 765375)

SHSC training and resources

External links and information 

Specialist Homelessness Services - reports

Report on Government Services

Australia's welfare


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