LGBTQ Homelessness Research Project: Final Report

University of Melbourne / Swinburne University of Technology, September 2017

Whilst there is mounting evidence that the risk of and potential consequences of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer or questioning (LGBTIQ) people are heightened compared to the general population, there has been limited systematic research in Australia to inform a more targeted response.

Australia lags behind similarly advanced democracies in developing research, policy and best practice in the area of LGBTIQ homelessness. Major gaps in Australia include research on older LGBTIQ adults’ experiences of homelessness, longitudinal studies, comparisons between sub-groups, comparisons between rural/regional and urban areas, and the development of best practice guidelines.

This report documents a mixed methods research study, the aims of which were to:

  • Identify major contributors and pathways into and out of homelessness for LGBTIQ people;
  • Investigate their experiences of current homelessness service provision;
  • Examine current practice (including data collection) and best practice to ensure homelessness services are LGBTIQ inclusive; and
  • Make the project findings available to influence homelessness and mental health policy initiatives, services, and training on specific issues for LGBTIQ people.

In this study, we conceptualise that LGBTIQ inequalities in homelessness largely emerge from the structural stigma of community norms and institutional policies that embed heteronormative and homophobic, biphobic or transphobic prejudices in everyday practice.  We also regard silence on LGBTIQ populations in policies to be a
form of structural stigma.

 

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