A new report on homelessness among Sydney families has revealed the causes of family homelessness and its impact on children

The report by the Wesley Mission, More than a bed: Sydney’s homeless families speak out is the culmination of a study of 50 homeless families.

It is estimated that families make up between a quarter and one-third of Australia’s homeless population. A mother with children accounts for more than half of all homeless families.

The Wesley report reveals a range of alarming details about the nature of family homelessness.  Four in ten families cited domestic violence as the reason for their homelessness, almost double the next most cited cause, relationship breakdown or divorce.

Worryingly, the report found a strong intergenerational link to homelessness, with over half of adults in the 50 homeless families surveyed reporting they had been homeless as children.

It also found that new homeless families, in particular, do not know where to go for assistance.

In response, the CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Dr Keith Garner has suggested an ‘11-point plan’ to help homeless families through increased community and public housing and ‘a more flexible system that is user-friendly for families applying for accommodation’, among others.

To download an electronic copy of the report please click here. The Wesley Mission’s media release can be found here, and a news report from The Sydney Morning Herald is available here.