Homelessness is a growing problem across Australia and it has many different faces.
It’s the woman who can’t return home after work because she’s afraid her drunk husband will beat her; the wide-eyed man unable to save money on account of the voices in his head.
It’s the 40-year-old drug addict and it’s the 12-year-old victim of a family breakdown: a dad who ran away, a mum who committed suicide.
On 2011 Census night (the most recent one, considering last year’s debacle) 105,237 Australians were without a home. But this doesn’t mean what you think it does.
Of those 105,237 human beings, 6% spent their night on the street. 6% of people were desperate to the point of braving an entire evening on the footpath; in a park; in the sheltered, but locked vestibule of a closed department store.
It may sound like "only" 6%. But that's still 6,314 people.
But what about the rest? The other 96% of homeless Australians?
Well, they spent their night all over the place. 39% were in 'severely crowded dwellings' - residences whereby four or more extra bedrooms would be required to accommodate the total number of people sleeping there.
20% stayed in supported accommodation for the homeless. Charities offering shelter and beds and home-cooked meals to homeless Australians of all ages.