Heterogeneity among homeless Australian women and their reasons for homelessness entry

Wayne A. Warburton, Marina Papic, Elizabeth Whittaker

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Many women become homeless each year, both women who are alone and women with children. Both groups face substantial risks to their physical and mental health, as do the children of homeless mothers. Little is known about the similarities and differences between these two groups in terms of their demographic characteristics, their circumstances on presentation to specialist
homelessness services, and the factors that have contributed to their homelessness. The current study analysed data from 163 single mothers with children and 126 lone women who presented to a specialist homelessness service in Australia. It found some similarities between groups, but also considerable heterogeneity. Single mothers were more likely to be younger, to have been born overseas, and to have been homeless in the past 12 months. Lone women were more likely to have medical issues, a mental health condition, addiction issues, admission to a psychiatric ward in the past 12 months, and to not be in the labour force. Implications for service delivery are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8909
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • homeless mothers with children
  • homeless lone women
  • specialist homelessness services
  • homelessness service delivery


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