This publication is one of eight state and territory supplements that accompany the 2009–10 national annual report on the use of government-funded specialist homelessness services (AIHW 2011a). Information to aid readers in interpreting the data is presented in Box 1 and in the national report and appendixes (AIHW 2011i).

Box 1: Models of service delivery vary by jurisdiction

The approaches to delivering homelessness services vary between jurisdictions (see AIHW 2011a:Box 1.1). This variation needs to be considered when analysing national results and comparing the states and territories.

Accommodation data for South Australia is affected by the model of homelessness service delivery used in this state. A large number of South Australian agencies do not provide accommodation, they provide support services only, with accommodation being provided through other sources.

In line with the national picture, in South Australia:

  • the majority of clients were female
  • the average age of clients was in their early thirties
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were over-represented relative to their population size
  • clients commonly sought support because of issues in their interpersonal relationships, such as domestic or family violence, or because of accommodation related issues
  • immediately following support, most clients were living in a house or flat, they were not employed, and their main source of income was a government pension or benefit.

Some other points of interest in South Australia were:

  • the rate of use of specialist homelessness services was higher than the national average
  • seeking support primarily because of domestic violence was relatively high
  • the lengths of support and accommodation were longer than the national averages.