Could someone you know be at risk of homelessness?

Australia is known as the lucky country, yet despite economic successes, homelessness and housing stress is a reality for many. Homelessness can affect anyone, at any time – it depends on how the person’s circumstances fall.

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Key Points

  • Women aged 55+ are the group most at risk of homelessness
  • It can happen quickly through a single crisis or change in circumstance
  • Support is available

Sadly, women over 55 are the fastest growing cohort of people to experience housing stress and homelessness. This could be YOU, your peers, your mother, your grandmother, your sister, aunty or girlfriend.

One woman tells her story of losing her job during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how she has not been able to secure employment since, due to ageism. Now she is not sure how she will continue to pay her rent, and has already had to make sacrifices and prioritise whether to pay bills or buy groceries. 

She says, ”I am left feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, I never imagined this could happen to me, it’s starting to erode my sense of self".

Women are finding themselves in this situation through no fault of their own. There are many factors contributing to a woman’s risk of housing insecurity, including bearing the brunt of decades of gender pay inequality, lack of superannuation, having to work part-time or casually throughout their lives due to caring responsibilities, relationship breakdown, ill health, unemployment and of course, COVID-19 has amplified many of these existing issues. 

Mission Australia recognises each woman has her own unique needs and story. A single crisis or change in circumstances is all it takes to result in homelessness with little or no warning. If any of these circumstances resonate with you please reach out to “Supporting Women over 55”.

If you would like to talk, get information or learn more about a research project to help create change for all older women at risk of experiencing homelessness, please call Fiona at Mission Australia on 0418 858 818 or email