Homelessness is actually 300,000 high and not only 116,000 homeless as according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. But what many of us have been barking about for years are both the number and the proportion of children aged 12 years and less who are homeless.
Even according to the ABS figures there are 20,000 children aged 12 years and less who are homeless. How many household Australians are aware of this inexcusable abomination in the world’s 12th biggest economy?
Today I am leaving the Northern Territory where 5,000 children are homeless. I am heading home to Western Australia where 5,000 children under the age of 14 accessed specialist homelessness services. There are thousands of Western Australia’s children sleeping rough.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 4000 of the 5000 children accessing specialist homelessness services were under 10 years of age.
The Northern Territory with a total population of less than a quarter million has only 50,000 children, of which 14,000 are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children.
But one in ten of the Territory’s children are homeless.
I argue that the national shame of 20,000 aged 12 years and less who are homeless is actually 50,000 high. The nation should weep. The nation should end homelessness, particularly child homelessness.