The state’s peak body for homelessness, the Council to Homeless Persons, analysed Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Data ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March.
CEO of the Council to Homeless Persons Jenny Smith said while the common stereotype of homelessness was “the older male rough sleeper”, the people most likely to seek help were women between 25 and 34 years.
“We’ve always known that women’s homelessness is probably greater than we’ve been seeing in the statistics because women’s homelessness can be so hidden, sleeping in the backs of cars, staying with friends,” Smith told Pro Bono News.
She said this could make women’s homelessness “easier to ignore”.
“But now I think it’s very clear that it’s the biggest problem and that women are seeking assistance in droves,” she said.
“It makes sense, I suppose, when you think women and children fleeing family violence is the single biggest driver of homelessness in our community, but it’s still a big concern to see the rapid rate at which it’s growing.”
The data also showed the number of women experiencing homelessness was growing at a faster rate than for men.
From 2012/13 to 2015/16 the number of females seeking help from homelessness organisations in Victoria grew by 14 per cent. In the same time period, the number of men seeking help grew by 10 per cent.
Smith said, along with domestic and family violence, other related factors were contributing to the rise in women’s homelessness…(continues)
SOURCE: Ellie Cooper, “Two in Three People Seeking Homelessness Help are Women”, Pro Bono Australia, 08 March 2017
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