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).