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Responding to homelessness

People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable members of our community. Council will treat all members of the community with dignity and respect.

Over 122,000 Australians are homeless, including 1205 people on the Sunshine Coast. 

The main causes of homelessness are:

  • a lack of social and affordable housing
  • low rental vacancy rate
  • unaffordable rents
  • domestic and family violence
  • financial stress
  • physical health, mental health and addiction.

Definition

A person is homeless if their current living arrangement:

  • is in an inadequate dwelling
  • has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable
  • does not allow them to have control of and access to space for social relations.

Thus, homelessness includes people who are:

  • sleeping rough
  • sleeping in cars and mobile homes
  • utilising crisis and temporary accommodation
  • living in overcrowded housing
  • staying with family and friends.

Support available

If you are experiencing homelessness or domestic and family violence you can call:

  • Housing Service Centre phone (07) 5352 7333
  • Homeless Hotline phone 1800 474 753
  • DVConnect phone 1800 811 811

The Sunshine Coast Housing and Homelessness Directory[1099KB] contains details for organisations that are providing services to people experiencing homelessness.

Homelessness is not a choice and is a complex issue that requires a whole of government and community response to address.

Role of State Government

The Queensland Government is the lead agency responsible for reducing homelessness and providing crisis and social housing. 

Role of Council

Council acknowledges they have a critical role to assist in reducing homelessness within our community. Council is:

  • partnering with State Government, community services, community groups and local housing providers
  • supporting the Sunshine Coast Housing & Homelessness Network
  • providing referrals to support services to support those experiencing homelessness
  • building skills, knowledge  and understanding of homelessness
  • developing the resources e.g. Sunshine Coast Housing and Homelessness Directory that outlines support services
  • advocating for an increase in crisis and transitional housing
  • advocating for additional resources e.g. assertive outreach
  • facilitating and supporting community-led projects to respond to homelessness.

People have the right to access public space and public amenities.

Council will only engage with a person if:

  • they are in need of help
  • there are public health and safety issues
  • they are not complying with a relevant law or regulation
  • their belongings affect the use of public space or amenities.

How you can help

Education

Increase your understanding and become involved in campaigns to end homelessness. 

Donate or volunteer

Contact a service in the Sunshine Coast Housing and Homelessness Directory. Enquire about what you can donate, or volunteer your time and skills.

Support or start a community-led initiative

Homelessness is a complex issue that requires a whole of community response. There are many community led solutions to homelessness across the Sunshine Coast. For more information please contact council or email [email protected]

Join a campaign

Visit Homelessness Australia and Everybody’s Home campaign to learn more and become involved in campaigns to end homelessness.

Homelessness Week

Homelessness Week is held in August each year. The purpose is to raise awareness of homelessness. For more information about resources, events and how you can get involved visit Homelessness Australia website.