Survey reveals crisis facing inner-city homeless

Survey reveals crisis facing inner-city homeless

A survey of inner-city homeless and needy people in Sydney has provided a startling insight into the entrenched nature of the disadvantage they suffer.

The survey entitled The homeless of the inner-city: A snapshot 2013 was conducted by the Sydney-based charity The Exodus Foundation, in conjunction with Macquarie University. It identified crisis levels of housing and health among the homeless.

“Mental health issues are at crisis levels.”

The results were collected from the homeless who utilised the nightly meal service offered by The Exodus Foundation’s city mobile food van.

A total of 50.7% had no permanent accommodation, either sleeping rough or in boarding houses, pointing to a dire shortage of affordable housing supply. Alarmingly, almost two-thirds had used the food van for more than 12 months, indicating an entrenched level of disadvantage.

“The homeless of the inner-city appear to be slipping through government safety nets,” said the Rev. Bill Crews, CEO of The Exodus Foundation. “Government agencies seem unable to place them in long-term secure accommodation, nor provide the assistance they need to ease their level of poverty.

“Almost 25% of those surveyed were under 30 years of age.”

Of great concern was the extent to which inner-city homeless people suffered mental illness. The survey revealed almost 55% suffered diagnosed mental health conditions.

“Mental health issues are at crisis levels among the homeless and needy of the inner-city”, said Mr Crews. “If any other part of the community suffered to this extent there would be demands for government intervention. I can only hope this survey acts as a catalyst for government action.”

Key findings from The homeless of the inner-city: A snapshot 2013 survey:

  • Almost 25% of those surveyed were under 30 years of age.
  • Nearly a quarter of the sample were rough sleepers.
  • 50.7% had no permanent accommodation, either sleeping rough or in boarding houses.
  • Almost two-thirds had used the food van for over 12 months, indicating an entrenched level of disadvantage.
  • 55% suffered a diagnosed mental health condition.

Download a copy of The homeless of the inner-city: A snapshot 2013 survey by clicking here.

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