In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500


Homelessness


Indicator  description

ACT children and young people who are homeless or engaged with homelessness services.

What do we  measure?

Children and young people aged 0-24 years who were homeless on Census night.

Why is this important?

Access to stable and adequate housing is a recognised human right under the United Nation's Universal Declaration on Human Rights.62

Children and young people are over-represented in the national homelessness population; just over one third of all homeless Australians are children and young people under the age of 25.63

Research recognises that obtaining access to adequate standards of housing enables children and young people to engage with the broader community and has been identified as having a significant impact on the positive development of health and wellbeing for children and young people.64

Information from this indicator will continue to inform government policies and programs about early intervention initiatives that are effective in preventing the causes of youth homelessness, and in doing so, enable the conditions for children and young people to thrive.65

Policy Context

The decrease in youth homelessness over time reflects a concerted approach to addressing homelessness, particularly amongst families escaping family and domestic violence. The figures also reflect a maturing of the youth homelessness sub-sector where there has been a diversification of responses to allow for young people to be supported not only in accommodation but for young people to have support before they become homeless.

In the 19-25 year age group, access to the homelessness sector is through the Youth Emergency Accommodation Network (YEAN) for young people up to 21 years of age, the Friendly Landlord Service for up to 23 years and Our Place for young people up to 25 years.

The marginal decrease in numbers for 19-25 year olds and the subsequent increase in young people residing in severely overcrowded settings can be attributed to the lack of affordable rentals meaning that young people are often forced to share in order to be able to afford rent.

How is the ACT Progressing

Table 48: Prevalence of child and young people homelessness in the ACT, Census of Population and Housing 2006, 2011, 2016

 

2006

2011

2016

Under 12 years

142

290

183

12-18 years

112

210

109

19-24 years

146

255

239

Total

400

755

531

Source: Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016.

Note Census figures provide point in time data (as at Census night).

There were 531 children and young people in the 2016 Census who were classified as being homeless on Census night in the ACT, which was a 30.0 per cent decrease from the 2011 Census (755).66

The number of homeless children aged 18 and under decreased substantially between 2011 and 2016. The prevalence of homelessness among young people aged 19-24 years has improved only marginally over the same period (a 6.7 per cent decrease between 2011 and 2016, from 255 to 239).

Table 49: Prevalence of child and young people homelessness services in the ACT by homelessness category and age group, Census of Population and Housing 2016

 

Under 12 years

12-18
years

19-24
years

Total

Persons who are in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out

4

5

4

13

Persons in supported accommodation for the homeless

121

64

68

253

Persons staying temporarily with other households

18

11

41

70

Persons staying in boarding houses

0

3

36

39

Persons living in severely crowded dwellings

41

27

92

160

Total

183

109

239

531

Source: Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016. Cat no. 20490DO002_2016.Homelessness

Note Census figures provide point in time data (as at Census night).

Almost one half of homeless children and young people were being assisted through homelessness supported accommodation; 253 children and young people (48.0 per cent of all homeless children and young people) were in supported accommodation on 2016 Census night.67

There were 160 children and young people living in 'severely' crowded dwellings (30.0 per cent of all homeless children and young people), and the majority of these were young people aged 19-24 years (92 of those in severely crowded dwellings were aged 19-24 years).

62 United Nations 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted 10 December 1948), UNGA Res 217 A (III) (UDHR) Article 25.
63 ABS 2012, Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness, 2011, accessed on 14.08.2015 via , and Youth Homelessness Matters Day, Snapshot of Youth H omelessness, accessed on 14.08.2015 via
64 AIHW 2011, Headline Indicators for Children’s Health, Development and Wellbeing, p.90.
65 ACT Government, ACT Children and Young People’s Commitment 2015–2025, priority 1.
66 Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016.
67 ABS 2016, Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016. Cat no. 20490DO002_2016.