Key concepts

Specialist Homelessness Services

Key concept Description
Accommodation services Accommodation services include short-term or emergency accommodation, medium-term/transitional housing, assistance to obtain long term housing, assistance to sustain tenancy or prevent tenancy failure or eviction and assistance to prevent foreclosures for mortgage arrears.
Other support services Other support services refers to the assistance, other than accommodation services, provided to a client. Includes mental health services, family/relationship assistance, disability services, drug/alcohol counselling, legal/financial services, immigration/cultural services, domestic/family violence services, other specialist services and general assistance and support services.
Specialist homelessness agency client

A Specialist homelessness agency client is a person who receives a specialist homelessness service. A client can be of any age. Children are also clients if they receive a service from a specialist homelessness agency.

To be a client the person must directly receive a service and not just be a beneficiary of a service.

Children who present with an adult and receive a service are considered to be a client; children of a client or other household members who present but do not directly receive a service are not considered to be clients.

Specialist homelessness service(s) Specialist homelessness service(s) is assistance provided by a specialist homelessness agency to a client aimed at responding to or preventing homelessness. The specialist homelessness services in scope for this collection include accommodation provision, assistance to sustain housing, mental health services, family/relationship assistance, disability services, drug/alcohol counselling, legal/financial services, immigration/cultural services, domestic/family violence services, other specialist services and general assistance and support.
Specialised Homelessness Services (SHS) clients with current mental health issue

SHS clients with current mental health issue are identified as such if they have provided any of the following information:

  • they indicated that at the beginning of a support period they were receiving services or assistance for their mental health issues or had in the last 12 months
  • their formal referral source to the specialist homelessness agency was a mental health service
  • they reported ‘mental health issues’ as a reason for seeking assistance
  • their dwelling type either a week before presenting to an agency, or when presenting to an agency, was a psychiatric hospital or unit
  • they had been in a psychiatric hospital or unit in the last 12 months
  • at some stage during their support period, a need was identified for psychological services, psychiatric services or mental health services.
Support period

A support period is the period of time a client recieves assistance from an agency. A support period starts on the day the client first recieves a service from an agency and ends when:

  • the relationship between the client and the agency ends,
  • the client has reached their maximum amount of support the agency can offer, or
  • a client has not received any services from the agency for a whole calendar month and there is no ongoing relationship.

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