Inside the Front Door

Homelessness Launch2

FACT: The number of employed people seeking help from homelessness services has nearly doubled over a six-year period. 

Inside the Front Door, a first of its kind study, conducted by RMIT and commissioned by the Unison Housing Research Lab, looks at data over seven-year period from six high volume homelessness services – Unison Housing, VincentCare, WAYSS, The Salvation Army, Haven Home Safe and Launch Housing. 

The study shows the profound and far-reaching problems of the housing crisis and the intense and growing pressure on homelessness services. 

A rise from 1 in 20 in 2014 to nearly 1 in 10 in 2020: Employed people presenting at homelessness services  

  • An increase from 7.5% to 15.8% over the same period: People reporting family and domestic violence at their first visit to a homelessness service   
  • 25%: repeatedly return to services 
  • More people with complex needs are presenting to homelessness services than in the past 

  •  According to one of the lead researches, Guy Johnson, an honorary professor at RMIT, most households seeking support do not have vulnerabilities other than being on a low income and struggling to pay their housing costs or finding affordable housing 

Unison’s Manager, Housing Assessments and Pathways, Rachael Toseland said, “We are witnessing a significant rise in the demand for our IAP service (Unison’s homelessness service) with housing affordability crisis being the main driver.  

The overwhelming demand surpasses our capacity to respond. At Unison IAP, we can relate to the findings of the report as we consistently encounter individuals who heavily rely on our services. We are very familiar with these returning users of the service.”  

This critical research recommends additional funding and resources to take the pressure off homelessness entry points at capacity, to assist more people. It also points to the need for service system reform to better respond to community needs.  

You can read the report in full here    

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