Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  General

More Than a Million Aussies Forced to Sleep Rough


6 October 2015 at 10:49 am
Ellie Cooper
A “staggering” 1.4 million Australians, or 7.8 per cent of the population, have been forced to sleep rough at some stage in their life, research from RMIT University has revealed.

Ellie Cooper | 6 October 2015 at 10:49 am


0 Comments


 Print
More Than a Million Aussies Forced to Sleep Rough
6 October 2015 at 10:49 am

A “staggering” 1.4 million Australians, or 7.8 per cent of the population, have been forced to sleep rough at some stage in their life, research from RMIT University has revealed.

The study, by Emeritus Professor Chris Chamberlain and Dr Guy Johnson from the Centre for Applied Social Research, also found that 13 per cent of currently housed Australians experienced homelessness during their lifetime, with half of those experiencing it more than once.

Professor Chamberlain said the results found that 900,000 men and 500,000 women have slept rough in parks or improvised dwellings, dwarfing previous estimates.

“Our survey contradicts the popular conclusion that rough sleeping is rare in modern Australia,” Chamberlain said.

“It’s been generally estimated that about 100,000 Australians have ever slept rough yet our research reveals a staggering 1.4 million have done so.

“The statistics are startling because they are so unexpectedly high. Nobody had any idea that the numbers were this big.”

Chamberlain and Johnson randomly surveyed 1349 people with the intention of comparing their findings to Census data.

“The Census is carried out in August when it is bitterly cold and Census collectors are not going to find people sleeping rough at that time of year,” Chamberlain said.

“Most people are hiding away for warmth and, of course, hiding away for safety.

“The 2011 Census counted just 6800 rough sleepers, but crucially, the Census does not ask if people have ever experienced homelessness.”

He said the study also contradicted the belief that women experiencing homelessness are not sleeping rough.  

“Our findings show men are more likely to experience homelessness than women, but a significant number of Australian women have been in the same boat and half of them have slept rough,’’ he said.

“It is normally taken for granted that it’s only men who sleep rough – but this is another myth.”


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Advertisement

Virtual Congress - CPA Australia

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Meet Pro Bono News’ first editorial advisory board

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 16th April 2020 at 8:02 am

Unpaid Carers Facing Significant Economic Disadvantage

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 21st August 2018 at 3:45 pm

NFPs Driving WA Economy, Report Says

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 4:20 pm

Study into the Effect of the NDIS on Carers

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 25th January 2017 at 9:26 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×