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Despite the fact that the Australian economy is growing, it’s homeless population is on the increase; rising by 14% between the 2011 and 2016 census.

Migrants – Australians who were not born in the country – are one of the groups most affected by homelessness, as well as elderly people aged between 65 and 74. In addition, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up just 2.8% of the Australian population, they account for 20% of its homeless – although this statistic is declining.

The majority of the homeless population in Australia are located in larger cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. It’s estimated that on any given night, one in 200 people are without shelter.

There are a number of complex factors which contribute to the situation of homeless people in Australia. These include mental illness, unemployment, exiting state care or prison, lack of available and affordable rental housing, overcrowding, and family or domestic violence.

Homelessness is defined in the country as lack of access to safe adequate housing or if the housing is in some way a threat to the health of the people living there. Homeless people are those whose circumstances threaten the safety, security or affordability of their homes, or individuals who do not have the legal right to be living where they are.

Australia’s homeless population are typically found living in improvised dwellings, on the street and sleeping in tents. Alternatively, some are accommodated in supported dwellings established for the homeless.

According to volunteer organisation Homelessness Australia, solving issues around homelessness is not as simple as creating jobs or affordable housing. The organisation believes that the homelessness problem is not for government to solve alone, but the responsibility of everyone. That said, to alleviate the problem, there are a number of steps that should be taken by government and many believe that the political commitment required to do this is lacking.


These aren’t just words, neatly packed to sound helpful “in theory”; these are the very real concepts on which the global movement of positive change is built.
It’s with these ideas that The Philanthropic Collection home to The CEO SleepOut is turning old world philanthropy on its head;
getting business leaders to sleep on the streets to raise funds and gain empathy for the homeless in The CEO SleepOut Event;
and sparking conversations that truly lead to worldwide action.

By Ali Gregg