Risk factors

Disability itself is considered 1 of several risk factors for experiencing homelessness. However, clients with disability are also more likely than clients without disability to have 1 or more other risk factors that increase their likelihood of experiencing homelessness, or that provide additional barriers to exiting homelessness, such as:

  • repeat homelessness—6% compared with 3%
  • mental health issues—62% compared with 35%
  • drug or alcohol misuse—22% compared with 12%
  • beginning support homeless—45% compared with 41%.

Clients with disability are less likely than clients without disability to be identified as having experienced domestic and family violence (30% compared with 36%).

Mental health issues

Clients with disability who have a mental health condition may face additional challenges. Compared with other clients with disability, those aged 10 and over who have a mental health issue are more likely to be identified as having:

  • engaged in drug or alcohol misuse—29% compared with 9%
  • experienced domestic and family violence—35% compared with 23%
  • experienced repeat homelessness—8% compared with 2%
  • begun support homeless—48% compared with 40% (Figure 1).
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Figure 1 Alternative text

Bar chart showing homelessness risk factors for clients, aged ten years and over, of Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS), with and without disability, and with and without mental health issues. The reader can select to display the chart by disability status and by whether the person has a mental health issue or not. The chart shows people with disability and mental health issues are more likely (35%) to report domestic and family violence than those with disability and without mental health issues (23%).