We completed an in depth review of Sydneys working homeless People who work 26 or more hours per week, and sleep rough. There are some surprising results. This is very much raw data, from which you are free to draw such inferences as you may choose.

  • These are only the Working Rough Sleepers known to us who agreed to participate in our research. We did not count those participating in piecework,such as Big Issue vendors. We know of more who chose not to participate.
  • A total of 238 eligible Working Rough Sleepers were surveyed between 9pm Saturday and 9pm Sunday,at the place where they sleep or camp.
  • 88 Persons are liable parents, paying child support to their former spouse, leaving less that 40% of their generated income as nett (after tax & child support) income.Just 8 of these had an income of over $700 gross per week.
  • 58 work for minimum wages ($570 per week).198 work for $600 per week or less-gross..averaged up to 40 hour equivalent.
  • 146 identified bad credit as the impediment to securing any form of housing.122 of these were aged 18-27 and became debt impaired as a result of signing telecommunicatons service provider credit plans which they didn’t understand.The highest debt revealed was $12000 plus. 3 are seeing lawyers over this week,because the contracts they signed precede their 18th birthdays.We think that these contracts are void,because it is illegal for a credit provider to a minor.
  • 24 Credit impaired homeless bad credit status stems from Mortgage, Credit Card or Auto purchases arrears.
  • 88 identified poker machine gambling as the primary factor in their inability to move from the streets.44 identified gambling as at least a contributor to their marginalisation.
  • 198 said they had not been seen any Street Intervention service teams or any marginalised service providers.They had not visited Foodvans.They were given contact details for the Service NGOs without any promotion of those services.We don’t know of one service which we recommend.
  • Just over half had a resistance to any form of government originated assistance.Reasons varied from mistrust to pride to resigned hopelessness. Social Housing is not seen as an alternative by most of this group.
  • Most are service or retail workers.Others are employed in construction related trades. 4 self employed are included.