What is homelessness?
Homelessness does not simply refer to sleeping on the street. The definition of homelessness provided by Homelessness Australia states that a person is considered homeless if their current living arrangements:
- are in a dwelling which is inadequate; or
- have no tenure, or have a short and non-extendable tenure; or
- do not provide them control of, or access to a space for social interactions.
Homeless people include those sleeping on the street, couch surfing, staying in emergency accommodation, and living long-term in shelters or hostels. Homelessness can cause a disconnection from society, as the person has no control over their living space, and no sense of security, safety, privacy, or stability.
Homelessness in Tasmania
At the 2011 census, there were nearly 1,600 homeless people in Tasmania, including 744 people in the greater Hobart area. One quarter of these homeless people were aged 12-25 years. The most common reasons for homelessness were an accommodation crisis, interpersonal relations including domestic violence, and financial difficulties.
Homelessness and Health
Not only can homelessness cause a number of health issues, but being homeless often leads to pre-existing health conditions becoming worse. Due to the nature of homelessness and our healthcare system, these health issues are not treated as well as they could be.
The Street Clinic Program
All Round Health and Community Care’s mobile street clinic, helping those that are sleeping rough on the streets of Hobart.
A program that receives no funding and relies on clinical staff volunteering their time to a worthwhile cause.