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Homelessness: can the Covid-19 crisis help end rough sleeping in Australia for good?

Homeless service providers say the Covid-19 crisis has created an unparalleled opportunity to end rough sleep in Australia, and are calling on state and federal governments to take immediate action.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, most states and territories made the unprecedented move to get the rough sleepers off the streets and into hotel and motel accommodation in order to protect them, and the community, from the virus.

More than 5,000 people were placed in accommodation across the capital cities.

While Australia has nearly 120,000 people experiencing homelessness, according to the most recent census, only around 8,200 are rough sleepers, meaning the hotel quarantine program provided shelter for more than 60% of this population.

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