Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS): Monthly Data

On Wednesday 23rd September 2020, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released the monthly data collected from approximately 1,600 specialist homelessness services around Australia.

Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) are non-government agencies, funded by the government, to provide specialist support services for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Western Australia Data | SHS Clients by Gender

  • The number of clients who received support from SHS services in Western Australia decreased from 6,073 in January 2018 to 6,050 in June 2020.
  • In June, there were 6,050 clients in total to receive SHS services, whereby 3,751 were female and 2,299 were male.

  • In June 2020, Specialist Homelessness Services in Western Australia assisted 2,550 Indigenous clients, whereby 1,622 were female and 928 were male.
  • Therefore, for June 2020, of the women that received SHS over 43 per cent were indigenous.
  • Of the men that received SHS in June 2020 over 40 per cent were indigenous.

Western Australia Data | SHS Clients by Client Groups

In June 2020, of those clients who received SHS in Western Australia,

  • 2,538 clients who have experienced family and domestic violence, of which 2,010 were female and 528 were male.
  • 1,724 clients with a current mental health issue, of which 1,125 were female and 599 were male.
  • 783 clients with problematic drug or alcohol issues, of which 405 were female and 378 were male.

Western Australia Data | SHS Clients by Age

Western Australia Data | SHS Clients Seeking Assistance: June 2020

  1. Family and domestic violence (498 male and 1,943 female)
  2. Financial difficulties (767 male and 1,031 female)
  3. Relations and/or family breakdown (462 male and 1,006 female)
  4. Lack of family and/or community support (556 male and 866 female)
  5. Inadequate and/or inappropriate dwelling conditions (604 male and 727 female)
  6. Housing crisis (536 male and 749 female)
  7. Housing affordability stress (529 male and 710 female)
  8. Mental Health issues (410 male and 623 female) 
  9. Previous accommodation ended (388 male and 407 female)
  10. Unemployment (360 male and 418 female)

“Financial difficulties and family and domestic violence are among the most common reasons for seeking assistance.” – AIHW 2020


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. Specialist Homelessness Services: monthly data. Cat. no. HOU 321. Canberra: AIHW. Read here.