Returned servicemen and women are living on the streets at a rate three times higher than the national average, alarming report finds
- Shocking new report found that almost 6,000 Australian veterans are homeless
- Significantly higher than general population where homelessness is at 1.9%
- Further revealed that 21.7% of veterans were homeless at some point in their life
- Report found number of risk and predictive factors contributed to homelessness
Australian veterans are three times more likely to be homeless than the wider population, an alarming report has found.
Research by the Australian Housing and Urban Infrastructure Report (AHURI) found that almost 6,000 veterans, or 5.3 per cent, are homeless.
This is significantly higher than the homelessness rate for the general population which stands at 1.9 per cent, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
It further revealed that 21.7 per cent of veterans were homeless at some point in their life which is once again far more than the general population which stood at 13 per cent (stock)
‘Although these rates are not directly comparable, this strongly suggests that veterans are overrepresented in the Australian homeless population,’ the report read.
It further revealed 21.7 per cent of veterans were homeless at some point in their life, which is once again far more than the general population which stood at 13 per cent.
‘Being unemployed for a period greater than three months following transition increased the chance of being recently homeless threefold,’ it continued.
A number of risk and predictive factors were found to have contributed to the numbers, ranging from demographic, social, mental health, military service, as well as transition factors.
A number of risk and predictive factors were found to have contributed to the shocking numbers (stock)
Report co-author Geoff Evans and founder of Homes for Heroes in NSW said many young veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan reported having PTSD when they left the army.
‘By the time Veterans are getting to be homeless their whole life has fallen apart, usually the last straw is family break down, then they’re on the street and just a little bit further along is suicide,’ he told Courier Mail.
‘It’s too late by the time they’re getting in to Homes for Heroes, we need to intervene months or years earlier when they first started having problems,’ he said.
A Department spokesman told the publication there are a number of factors which contributed to veteran homelessness.
They raised concerns about figures from an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, which found veteran homelessness was just 1.1 per cent from July 2011 and June 2017.
‘The two reports give different insights into the incidence of homelessness in the ex-service community highlighting that there are many factors that can contribute to homelessness, including negative life events such as relationship breakdown, unemployment, and mental health issues,’ the spokesman told the publication.
The Government provides more than $6 billion per year for housing and homelessness services for all Australians, including veterans.