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Homelessness Australia: Homelessness And Men

Men represent 56% of homeless people in Australia. Key reasons for homelessness are unemployment, financial difficulty and shortage of affordable housing. Among younger men aged 15-24 a common cause for homelessness is family breakdown, and among older males financial crisis and inability to afford housing are common causes. Homelessness can be seriously detrimental to both mental and physical health and wellbeing and may lead to premature death.

Flickr/Clare Bell



In Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders account for around one quarter of all people who are homeless. (AIHW, 2011). The ABS Census, 2011 reveals that 56% of homeless people are male, and research shows that men aged 35 and over represent the majority of those who may be considered chronically homeless.

There are more homeless men than women, and there is a danger that the problem is said to often lie within some inadequacy in the part of men not seeking help, but services need to be adequately equipped to give males the help and support they need. Emergency hostels are full and there is a shortage of affordable housing. (Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2015)

Homelessness Prevention Week 2015

Homelessness Prevention Week took place from 3-9 August 2015 and this year's theme was "Step Up To End Homelessness" This campaign raises awareness of the alarming rates of homelessness and finds ways to address and find solutions to prevent it. Homelessness Australia began coordinating it as a national awareness week in 2007.


This factsheet discusses men and homelessness, the causes and impacts of this. There are a number of reasons why men become homeless including:

  • unemployment
  • shortage of affordable and available rental housing
  • financial difficulty
  • domestic and family violence
  • physical or mental illness and psychological distress
  • addictions to drugs and/or alcohol

Men At Risk Of Homelessness

Men with a higher risk of entering homelessness are those who have left prison, or younger men who have left statutory care or juvenile justice, compared with other men.

The Impact Of Homelessness

The impact of homelessness can be very serious for health and wellbeing. Research reveals that men who enter homelessness when suffering mental health issues or abusing substances are more likely to experience longer periods of homelessness than those who become homeless due to other reasons.

Resources Available

  • Homelessness And Men

    Homelessness Australia factsheet covering men and homelessness, causes and impacts. (PDF, 330kb).

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The Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre received funding from the Australian Government.

Western Sydney University's Men's Health Information & Resource Centre