In the 6-month period from July to December 2012:

More than 157,000 clients accessed specialist homelessness services

Almost half (47%) were already homeless when they began receiving support, and 22% of these clients were sleeping without shelter or were in an improvised or inadequate dwelling. Homeless males were more likely than females to be in this situation (27% of homeless males compared to 16%).

Most clients were female, and the majority were aged 18 to 44

Females represented 58% of all clients. Women aged 18-44 represented 60% of females and 35% of all clients.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were over-represented

Almost one-quarter (23%) of clients who provided information on their Indigenous status identified themselves as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

One-quarter of clients sought assistance because of domestic and family violence

The most common main reason given for seeking assistance was 'domestic and family violence', reported for 23% of all clients (32% of females and 9% of males). 'Financial difficulties' were reported by 15% of clients as the main reason (17% of males, and 14% of females).

More than half of all clients needed accommodation assistance

More than half (56%) of all clients needed accommodation-related assistance. Two-thirds (66%) of all clients who needed some kind of accommodation assistance got it from the agency that was supporting them; 14% were referred to another service provider and the remaining 20% were neither provided the service nor referred. More than 3.6 million nights of accommodation were provided by specialist homelessness agencies.

Almost $12 million in financial assistance was provided to clients

Financial assistance was provided to 31,000 clients. On average, those who got financial assistance each received $398.

Many at risk of becoming homeless were assisted

Of clients who were at risk of homelessness when they began receiving support (and who were not being supported at the end of the reporting period because they did not need it or for other reasons), 86% were not homeless at the end of their support, and 4% were in an institutional setting; 10% were homeless at the end of support.

While most of those who were homeless at the beginning of support remained homeless, 23% were in private, public or community housing at the end of support, and 1% were in an institutional setting.