9,000 Western Australians Facing Homelessness Tonight

The diversity of experiencing homelessness – Homelessness Week

When someone says ‘homelessness’, what image comes to mind? For many, it might conjure up a disheartening picture of individuals in tattered blankets sleeping on the streets, but homelessness is much more nuanced than that. But this Homeslessness Week, are you familiar with the diversity of experiencing homelessness?

From couch surfing students to families living out of their cars and veterans moving between temporary accommodation, homelessness is much more nuanced than a state of ‘rooflessness’. 

This Homelessness Week, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on the different kinds of homelessness that over 9,000 Western Australians will experience tonight, including: 

Transitional Homelessness 

Picture this: a major life change like losing a job, facing health issues, or going through a tough divorce leaving you in a state of housing insecurity. This is what is referred to as transitional homeless – a temporary struggle affecting more Western Australians than ever. 

WA Foodbank WA Homelessness Week in Western Australia

While homelessness is typically perceived as a chronic state of unhousing, transitional homelessness is far more common and is characterised by a period of housing insecurity for a year or less. With the current rental and cost of living crises, chances are you know someone experiencing this right now. 

Episodic Homelessness 

When someone experiences three periods of homelessness in the last 12 months, they fall under the category of episodic homelessness. 

Contrasting with chronic homelessness, where people experience four periods of unhousing in a year, episodic homelessness often results when transitional homelessness doesn’t receive appropriate intervention. The good news is that with the right support and rapid rehousing strategies, we can break the cycle and provide the help they need to find stability. 

Chronic Homelessness 

Those who are chronically homeless are individuals battling homelessness for over a year, often experiencing disability, mental health challenges, addiction, or other circumstances that restrict their ability to escape these circumstances.  

These individuals require comprehensive support and specialised services to address their unique needs and foster lasting solutions.

Hidden Homelessness 

“Hidden homelessness” might not ring a bell, but it’s a critical issue that disproportionately impacts young Western Australians. 

The hidden homeless are individuals who live with others temporarily and lack a permanent home. 

With the current rental crisis, this is only getting worse. 

Sadly, they also lack access to housing support resources and fly under the radar, making them significantly underrepresented in national homelessness statistics. 

But there are services that can help

Entrypoint Perth is a free and voluntary assessment and referral service assisting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Western Australia to access accommodation and support options. Whether you’re based in the Perth Metropolitan or regional areas, qualified professionals are just a phone call away on 1800 124 684. 

Crisis Care offers after-hours assistance for those experience crises and can be contacted for advice around the right homelessness services for you. Call them for free on 1800 199 008. 

Food relief is never far away