Proven by 800+ Homeless Agencies

Homelessness in Australia

Homelessness in Australia is a crisis. Housing affordability and domestic violence are 2 major reasons.

  • More than 122,494 people Aussies are homeless every day (ABS 2021).
  • 45,800 Aussies will sleep on our streets this year.
  • Up to 21% of Australia’s street sleeping homeless have suffered hypothermia, frostbite or trenchfoot (MS2H 2010).
  • In 2021-2022 over 81,000 requests for accommodation from homeless people across Australia could not be met (AIHW 2022).

The Australian Human Rights Commission stated Human Rights are greatly impacted by sleeping on the streets:

  • The right to health
  • The right to personal safety
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to non-discrimination
  • The right to freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Common Questions

Homeless people without shelter are in all communities, towns and cities.

IThey are people. Like you and I.
Individuals and families living in accommodation which falls below general community standards:

  • Detrimental to physical and mental well-being
  • No access to personal amenities
  • No security, privacy or autonomy
  • On the streets and parks
  • Under bridges, sheds, sporting grounds, bus shelters, doorways
  • In abandoned buildings
  • In cars
  • With friends or extended family
  • Emergency accommodation & youth refuges
  • Boarding houses, caravan parks or hotels

Nobody wants to live on the streets - humans are not built for it.

  • Accident at work
  • Housing Affordability
  • Family problems – violence, sexual abuse, assault
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Periods of mental illness
  • Gambling addiction
  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Unemployment / Underemployment / Financial problems / Eviction
  • People without basic goods can be driven to petty crime just to find shelter.
  • Some are forced into sexual exploitation.
  • This can lead to substance abuse and addiction - all of which promotes a wide array of desperate behaviour… involving substantial problems and costs for our community.

A Global Issue

Backpack Bed for Homeless developed the Backpack Bed and our Fire Retardant Sleeping Bag to help street sleeping homeless people without shelter.

Due to the difference our Backpack Bed makes  - our program has been implemented in 8 countries USA, UK, NZ, Canada, Germany, Spain and South Africa. Australian donations are only used for our work in Australia.


  • 2,181 people were recorded as sleeping rough on any one night in England (an increase of 5%)
  • Street sleeping homeless are 13 times more likely to have experienced violence and 47 times more likely to be victims of theft.
  • Street sleeping homeless have an average life expectancy of 42 years compared to national average 74 for men and 79 for women
  • Street sleeping homeless are 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.


  • The USA has 194,467 unsheltered people on any night with a total of 552,830 homeless people.
  • Mental health problems are up to eight times more common in the homeless population.

New Zealand

  • No official government figures for the number of homeless people exists
  • 81 people were found sleeping on the streets in a 3km radius of the Auckland sky tower.


  • No official government figures for the number of homeless people exists
  • It is estimated the number of homeless people in Germany at over 250,000 – with 20,000 people living on the street



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