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How to access emergency housing and homelessness support

By George Hadgelias

Each year close to 300,000 Australians access specialist homelessness services, but the number of people who find themselves without a home is thought to be much higher.

If you’re unemployed, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless there’s a range of services that you can access.

Across Australia

Ask Izzy lists 370,000 services that provide housing, a meal, financial help, family violence support, counselling and additional homelessness services around the country.

It’s free and confidential. You just enter your postcode, and answer a few questions about your current situation and Ask Izzy will list support services in your area.

The following organisations also provide services across the country. Services vary from state to state depending on funding arrangements.

  • Australian Red Cross (1800 733 276)
  • Orange Sky – laundry and shower service
  • OzHarvest – food relief (1800 108 006)
  • St Vincent de Paul ()
  • Salvation Army (13 SALVOS ()
  • 1800 RESPECT – family and domestic violence support (1800 737 732)

New South Wales

The Link2home telephone services operates around the clock to provide information and referrals to homelessness support and accommodation services in New South Wales. You can call them on 1800 152 152.

If you’re experiencing family or domestic violence, you can also access specialist services and emergency housing options by calling the Domestic Violence hotline on 1800 656 463.

The Department of Justice has a search function on its website to help you find homelessness services and emergency accommodation near you.

Victoria

If you need crisis or emergency accommodation in Victoria, or homelessness services, you can call the State Government hotline, 1800 825 955 everyday around the clock, to be referred to a service near you.

Be aware though, if you call outside normal business hours, you’ll be referred to either the Salvation Army Crisis Service, or the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre.

You can also contact Safe Steps directly at any time on 1800 015 188.

In Melbourne, Launch Housing will connect you with a housing support officer for advice and referrals to other services. The number is 1800 825 955.

Western Australia

The West Australian government is developing an online homelessness services portal, to provide a one-stop-shop for accessing homelessness support and emergency accommodation.

In the interim, you can get help from the Homeless Advisory Service during business hours on 1800 065 892, or Crisis Care after hours 1800 199 008.

You can also get assistance from:

Queensland

The Homelessness Hotline, 1800 474 753, will link people in the Sunshine State with homelessness and domestic violence services and crisis accommodation.

You can also call the dedicated DVConnect hotline on 1800 811 811 , or Mensline, a specialist service for men experiencing or using domestic violence on 1800 600 636.

Anglicare is another service that provides emergency housing, food banks and counselling by calling 1300 610 610.

Northern Territory

ShelterMe, is the one-stop online resource for those looking for a place to stay, food, clothes and basic necessities, counselling and legal advice.

You can also get in touch with AnglicareNT for accommodation services throughout the Territory on 08 8985 0000.

Australian Capital Territory

OneLink is the central port of call for people experiencing homelessness in the nation’s capital. You can call 1800 176 468 between 8am and 6pm weekdays, and 12.30pm to 5pm on weekends, to be connected to the services you need.

South Australia

Homeless Connect SA is the main referral body for homelessness services, crisis accommodation and people experiencing domestic and family violence in South Australia. You can call any time on 1800 003 308.

Young people experiencing homelessness can also use the Pickle website or app to find help. Look for it on the app store on your smartphone.

The Domestic Violence and Aboriginal Family Violence Gateway (1300 782 200) is another option for those needing emergency accommodation.

Tasmania

Homelessness support, from emergency accommodation to mental health services, on the Apple Isle is coordinated by Housing Connect ().

If you’re in need of family and domestic violence support, call the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service on 1800 608 122.

How to access homelessness support through Centrelink

If you’re unemployed, you could be eligible for a Centrelink payment. You can gain free and confidential financial advice and links to support services by speaking with a Centrelink social worker or engagement officer.

They can help you navigate additional payments, and support services and emergency accommodation if you’re experiencing domestic and family violence.

Centrelink can also help you work out if you’re eligible for a one-off “crisis payment” if you’re homeless due to extreme financial hardship

If you already receive a Centrelink payment, visit an office or call the normal number you use for your Centrelink services. If you aren’t a Centrelink customer, call  and ask to speak to a counsellor.

For more information on payments you could be eligible for from Centrelink visit the Services Australia Website.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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