Andrew Beer, Emma Baker, Shelley Mallett, Deb Batterham, Anne Pate and
Laurence Lester – The University of Adelaide.
Persons with a disability are vulnerable both to, and within, homelessness because many have low incomes, limited engagement with the labour market and limited housing options. While attention has been given to the relationship between poor mental health and homelessness, persons with other types of disability – physical, sensory, intellectual – are also at risk.
The goal of this research, funded under the Australian Government’s National Homelessness Research Agenda 2009-13, is to understand the homelessness risks confronting persons with a disability and how best to meet their needs. This project addresses research priorities around improving service practice; understanding referral pathways through services; preventing homelessness through early intervention; and, identifying resilience and protective factors.
This project fills an established evidence gap on homelessness and disability by researching the pathways into homelessness and the use of homelessness services by persons with mobility, sensory and intellectual disabilities (including acquired brain injury). It also reviews the international literature on models for best meeting the needs of persons with a disability who are homeless, and the range of prevention and resilience strategies available to government and non-government agencies. The research develops solid evidence that can be used to both enhance services specifically targeted at persons with a disability experiencing – or at risk of – homelessness, as well as mainstream services. The purpose of the research is to generate a body of evidence that will enable service improvement, provide early intervention points that limit the number of persons with a disability entering homelessness and enable the development of appropriate policies that build resilience amongst individuals and households affected by a disability.
Below are links to the Full Report and the Evidence Note that provides a summary of the report findings.