Our Research on Women's Homelessness

The Lady Musgrave Trust believes all women deserve to feel safe and live a life free from hardship.

While the reasons for homelessness and services provided now are different since we were established over 135 years ago, there remains a strong and growing need for safe shelter for Queensland’s vulnerable women.

Our services are more in need today than ever as homelessness figures continue to worsen.


Throughout Queensland there are close to 10,000 homeless women, including over 2,000 in the Brisbane area alone, that are homeless at any given time.

Frightening figures provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that the rate of homelessness in Australia increased by 8% between 2006 and 2011 and 9% between 2011 and 2016 (with the majority being attributed to younger and older people).

One quarter of homelessness is attributed to youth – equating to around 2,500 young women in Queensland being homeless.


Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women.

Women’s homelessness is caused by:

  • Domestic Violence – many women having been sexually/physically abused
  • Family Violence – many women reporting crisis/serious levels of violence in their lives
  • Poverty – many women with no source of income
  • Poor mental and physical health
  • Lack of suitable housing – about a third of women are couch surfing (staying with friends/family) and many are living in cars or staying in motels with their children (with no cooking facilities).
  • Exiting state care or prison

The cause of a woman’s homelessness can often be a complex mix of the above-mentioned circumstances.

The cost of homelessness to the community is significant – people experiencing homelessness often interact with multiple local government organisations with an estimated cost up to $35,000 per annum per person (based on sleeping rough costing).

Young women are our future.  But those impacted in their early years by homelessness will embark on a life-long journey of homelessness unless we can all help them change their circumstances – and importantly – that of their children.

The Lady Musgrave Trust provides safe accommodation to young women between the ages of 18 and 30 – but more support is needed for these women.

We believe a community-wide collaborative approach is the way forward.

See our Get Involved options on the main menu to find out how you can help.