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Poverty and Homelessness

Funds raised from Five in Five support the work of organisations fighting poverty and homelessness in Australia.

St Kilda Gatehouse and Whitelion

Poverty refers to the deprivation of basic human needs, which often includes shelter, sanitation, food, water, heath care and education. In 2012, report titled ‘Poverty In Australia’, showed that an estimated 2,265,000 people or (12.5% of all people), including 575,000 children (17.3% of all children), lived in households below the most austere poverty line widely used in international research. The report further showed that women (including female children) face a significantly higher risk of poverty than men. This reflects women’s lower employment opportunities and wages, the greater likelihood that they are engaged in unpaid caring roles, and their lower investment incomes in retirement.

Poverty is one of the causes of homelessness. Circumstances of poverty that can lead a person to become homeless include: having little money, a lack of education, poor mental and physical health, disability, reliance on public housing and social exclusion. Despite popular belief, children are one of the largest groups of Australians experiencing homelessness. Children under the age of 18 make up 27% of people experiencing homelessness. There are many factors which contribute to homelessness including domestic and family violence, financial crisis, housing affordability, poverty, mental illness, substance or gambling dependency and abuse.

Check out our ‘Who we support’ page for detailed information on what the charities are doing to fight poverty and homelessness in Australia.