National missing persons coordination centre

Homelessness and missing persons

A person experiencing homelessness may be having issues with aspects of life that prevent access to safe and secure shelter. More than 100,000 people receive support from homeless services annually. Men, women, young people, children and families are among the homeless population.

The largest single cause of homelessness in Australia is domestic and family violence, which overwhelmingly affects women and children. Poverty and lack of affordable housing are also significant causes of homelessness. One in two people get turned away each night from overstretched services. Some 16,000 people experience ‘primary’ homelessness, which is living on the street or in improvised shelters.

Homelessness can cause a range of health problems, as well as social isolation, and a sense of shame. Though demand is very high, services exist to help homeless people reconnect with their communities, find stable housing and resolve health and personal issues.

The reasons why people become homeless or missing are diverse. However; there are some similar risk factors and experiences that characterise homelessness and/or being missing.

Homelessness content provided by Homelessness Australia.

View the missing persons and homelessness factsheet (PDF 1.5 MB).

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Australian Federal Police