AIHW (2015) Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 05 February 2023.
AIHW . (2015). Specialist homelessness services 2014–15. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2014-15
Specialist homelessness services 2014–15. AIHW , 11 December 2015, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2014-15
AIHW . Specialist homelessness services 2014–15 [Internet]. Canberra: AIHW , 2015 [cited 2023 Feb. 5]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2014-15
AIHW (AIHW) 2015, Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, viewed 5 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2014-15
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Specialist homelessness agencies provide a wide range of services to assist those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, ranging from general support and assistance to immediate crisis accommodation. This section outlines the characteristics of all clients assisted by specialist homelessness agencies in 2014–15, describes their needs for assistance and the services they received. It also provides some key trends for the 4 years from 2011–12 (the start of the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection—SHSC) to 2014–15.
Between 2011–12 and 2014–15, specialist homelessness agencies provided support to over 650,000 clients. The estimated number of clients assisted by agencies each year has increased from 236,000 in 2011–12 to 256,000 in 2014–15. This represents an average annual growth rate of 2.6%.
Because SHSC data provide a measure of the service response, increases in client numbers generally reflect the increased availability and accessibility of services rather than change in the underlying level of homelessness in Australia. The rate of specialist homelessness service use has remained relatively steady since the start of the collection in 2011–12 (Table 1).
The characteristics of clients, the main reasons for seeking support, and the services provided to clients, have remained relatively stable over the 4 years. There have, however, been some notable changes:
n.a. Not available
Rates are crude rates based on the Australian estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June of the reference year.
* Indicates where previously published data have been revised to ensure consistent reporting over time.
The denominator for the proportion achieving all, some or no case management goals is the number of client groups with a case management plan (supplementary table CLIENTS.26). Denominator values for proportions are provided in the relevant national supplementary table.
Source: Specialist homelessness services annual reports 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14 and 2014–15.
Data collected by specialist homelessness agencies are based on support periods, or episodes of assistance provided to clients (see Technical information for further details). Clients may have had more than one support period in 2014–15, either with the same agency at different times, or with different agencies.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.19 (702KB XLS).
Note: Top 6 excludes 'Other' reason.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.21 (702KB XLS).
In 2014–15, specialist homelessness agencies provided assistance to an estimated 255,657 clients, equivalent to 109 clients per 10,000 Australians (Table CLIENTS.2). This represents a small decrease since 2013–14, from 110 clients per 10,000.
6 in 10
clients were female.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.1 (702KB XLS).
1 in 4
clients were Indigenous.
Note: Rates are crude rates as detailed in Technical information.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.2 (702KB XLS).
'One parent with 1 or more children' was the most common living arrangement (34%, or just over 79,000), followed by 'lone persons' (29%, or nearly 68,000) and couples with a child or children (13%, or nearly 32,000) (Figure CLIENTS.5).
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.6 (702KB XLS).
Note: Per cent calculations based on Total clients, excluding 'Not stated'.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.7 (702KB XLS).
Note: Top 6 excludes formal referral source 'Other'.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.9 (702KB XLS).
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.12 (702KB XLS).
In the SHSC, information is captured about clients' needs for services from 2 perspectives:
Technical information and glossary provides more information about how clients' needs for assistance are captured in the SHSC. Services provided to clients range from the direct provision of accommodation, such as a bed in a shelter, to specialised services such as financial counselling. These services are generally either provided by the agency or referred to another service. Unmet demand provides further information about clients' needs that went unmet.
In 2014–15 changes occurred in the way agencies are required to report 'reasons for seeking assistance' and 'main reason'. Comparisons over time should be made with caution as the reporting of housing crisis, financial difficulties and housing affordability stress may be inconsistent between agencies. See Technical information for further details.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.13 (702KB XLS).
While clients can identify a number of reasons for seeking assistance, agencies also record the main reason for seeking assistance.
To aid interpretation of data on main reason for seeking assistance see Technical information for details on changes in agency reporting in 2014–15.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.14 (702KB XLS).
Some types of assistance provided by SHS agencies can be described as 'general support and assistance' (as opposed to more specialised services). These include advice and information, material aid, meals and living skills.
Note: Top 10 excludes 'Other basis assistance'.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.15 (702KB XLS).
Housing and accommodation services provided by agencies include:
In 2014–15 56% of SHS clients identified a need for accommodation. Of these 143,000 clients:
The proportion of SHS clients in 2014–15 who identified a need for accommodation assistance is similar to 2013–14 (56% and 55%, respectively).
However, the proportion of these clients who were subsequently provided with accommodation has decreased in 2014–15 (60% compared with 63% in 2013–14).
Over 6.5 million nights of accommodation were provided in 2014–15, about 0.4 million fewer (or 6% less) than last year. Total nights may represent more than one period of accommodation during 2014–15 (Table CLIENTS.16) (see Technical information for details on how length of accommodation is calculated).
Assistance to sustain tenancy/prevent eviction was needed by 33% of clients at some stage during their support period in 2014–15. This group includes those who were still housed when they approached an SHS agency and were supported to remain in the same house. It also includes those who identified a need for accommodation, were assisted to secure new accommodation and then supported to sustain that housing.
Note: Excludes 'Other specialised service'.
While payments for training/education/employment make up less than 2% of financial assistance, the amount provided for these purposes has decreased over the 4 years of the collection; in nominal terms, on average there has been a 3.8% decrease in assistance funding each year.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.17 (702KB XLS).
This section looks at clients who ceased receiving support in the year—their support periods had closed and they did not have ongoing support at the end of the year. The outcomes presented here are changes in clients' situations with reference to the start and end of support. Many clients had long periods of support or multiple support periods during the year and they may have had a number of changes over the course of their support (for example, their housing situation may change a number of times during support). These changes within the year are not reflected here.
Three aspects of a client's housing situation are considered in their housing circumstances: dwelling type, housing tenure, and the conditions of occupancy. See Technical information for details on these categories and their derivation.
These trends demonstrate that by the end of support, many clients have achieved or progressed towards more stable housing.
Note: Per cent calculations based on Total clients, excluding 'Not stated/other'.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.22 (702KB XLS).
Specialist homelessness agencies may support clients in a number of areas to reduce their vulnerability to homelessness. Outcomes include changes in educational enrolment status, labour force status and main source of income.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.24 (702KB XLS).
SHS agencies often provide services to clients aged 15 and over needing assistance to obtain/maintain a government allowance or employment assistance.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, National supplementary table CLIENTS.25 (702KB XLS).
Case management plans enable agency workers to assist a client to work towards agreed goals. In some cases, support periods are too short to allow for a case management plan; in other cases, a client may decline to have a case management plan. Case management approaches can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and over time as policy and practices change.
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