What is the definition of Homelessness?
Definitions of ‘homelessness' are the subject of ongoing debate. Some will focus on the standard or the nature of a person's accommodation while others focus on the issue of safety and security.
A Definition of Homelessness
The most commonly accepted definition of homelessness is Mackenzie and Chamberlain's (1992) definition which categories homelessness into three broad areas:
- Primary homelessness is experienced by people without conventional accommodation (e.g. sleeping rough, squatters, using cars etc or in improvised dwellings).
- Secondary homelessness is experienced by people who frequently move from one temporary shelter to another (e.g. emergency accommodation, youth and women refuges, ‘couch-surfing').
- Tertiary homelessness is experienced by people staying in accommodation that falls below minimum community standards (e.g. boarding houses, caravan parks, and forced share arrangements).
This definition was adopted by the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Homelessness in 2001 and is widely used in the community sector.
We must see ‘Homelessness' as much more than ‘houselessness'
Many of us don't just think of our home as merely a place of shelter, usually a ‘home' is not just a house it represents family, friendships and social connections with others.
A homeless person could even be someone who does have a home, but whose home is unsafe, for example where there's the threat of violence, conflict or family breakdown.
Being homeless is not always just about housing. It's also about missing a stable connection to a network of friends, family and the community.
Services and resources
For more information please view here
Homelessness Service Highlight - Breakfast Stop
Regional Housing Limited and the Rapid Relief Team hold the Breakfast Stop the first Wednesday of each month from 7am - 8am in the Regional Housing car park at 30 Tantitha Street. Breakfast Stop is for those that are experiencing homelessness or are in need of some extra support. People are able to enjoy a FREE breakfast and are able to access free advice and referrals if needed.
A small working party consisting of representatives from the housing and homelessness sector has developed a resource for workers in the homelessness sector but also for those that may be facing the possibility of losing their home.
The flow chart has been designed for easy use and provides a pathway for those who need it, to be more aware of where they can access help and support.
The Homelessness Flow Chart was launched as part of Homeless Persons Week activities at Ozcare Men’s Hostel in 2013 and is maintained by Council to keep it updated with the support of the Bundaberg Housing and Homelessness Forum.
Links to services and information on housing and homelessness
- Homelessness Australia: www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au
- Australian Council of Social Service: www.acoss.org.au
- Mental Health Council of Australia: www.mhca.org.au
Government Bodies - Federal
Government Bodies - State
- Qld Government: www.qld.gov.au
- Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services: www.communities.qld.gov.au
- Department of Housing and Public Works: www.communities.qld.gov.au/housing/housing-services
- HACC (Home and Community Care): www.health.qld.gov.au/hacc/
- Y Foundations: www.yfoundations.org.au
QLD Government Housing and Public Works - Housing Services provides and online tool to check your eligibility for bond loans and rental grants along with a range of information to support you in applying and sustaining housing.