The stories of those who’ve found themselves homeless are a common theme in the country’s homelessness crisis, but the plight of those in families with children has been particularly difficult to hear.
More than one-third of the people interviewed said they felt alone when trying to find housing, and the overwhelming majority said they feared being homeless again.
Some of those interviewed said family members or friends had stopped inviting them to stay with friends, and many had lost their jobs.
While some have found employment, many others have been unable to find any new ones, or have had to return to work.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Lianne Anderson, whose son Connor lives in a house in the inner-west.
“I can imagine what that’s like.
My son is in a relationship, but we’re living on a fixed income.
It’s like a prison.”
Connor has autism and needs to be on medication to help him cope with his condition.
His mother has been unable for months to get him to take medication, and Liananne says the problem is compounded by the fact that her son has no access to health care.
“He’s in the hospital.
We’ve had to take him to the doctor every day,” she said.
“We have a couple of people come and see us.
We’re trying to be compassionate and help him through it, but he doesn’t feel safe enough.”
“He doesn’t want to go out.”
‘It’s not easy’ For many people who’ve had difficulty finding housing, the struggle has become particularly difficult because they’ve been unemployed or in part-time jobs, such as a carer.
For Liannea Anderson, Connor’s situation has made it harder to stay at home with Connor.
She said it’s not only the lack of affordable accommodation, but also Connor’s age and disability that make it difficult for her to work or find work.
“[Connor] is a very young child.
He is an amazing child, but they’ve made it hard for him to work,” she told ABC News.
“They say to us, ‘You’ve got to work harder, you’ve got a job, but you can’t be in that job all the time’.”
We just don’t know what we’re going to do.
“For a young child like that, it’s just so difficult. “
You know it’s going to be hard, because you have to put food on the table and you’ve just got to keep paying the bills,” said Jennifer Anderson, who is the primary carer for Connor’s father.
“For a young child like that, it’s just so difficult.
It just gets worse and worse.”
For Connor, his inability to work has caused serious mental health issues for the teenager.
He’s had to seek medical help for anxiety and depression and has also struggled with social isolation.
His school had to change the way it conducted classes to allow for more people to attend.
His dad says he’s also been struggling with mental health, and has been seeing a psychiatrist regularly for two years.
“If I had just gone back to work, I wouldn’t be struggling.
I could be doing all the stuff I’m doing,” he said.
Some families have found themselves unemployed because they couldn’t find affordable housing in the first place.
“People have to work for a living and that’s not necessarily good for their mental health,” said Lindsay Anderson, the primary school teacher Connor attends.
“But you can work for free for as long as you want, you can go to school and study.”
“We just want to be here.”‘
The system is broken’ Many people have been homeless because they can’t afford to live in the city, or because they simply can’t find a place to live.
But for those in poverty, the lack, or even the lack for, housing is an acute issue.
“When people are homeless, they’re homeless because there’s no place to go,” said Elizabeth, who lives with her husband in a property in the northern city of Port Phillip.
“There’s no one to help them.”
“The system’s broken.”
‘A massive amount of anger’ Many of those on the street are in a state of anger and desperation.
“All these people have a feeling that they have no way out,” said Emma, who uses a wheelchair and cannot afford to stay in her apartment.
“Because they’re on the streets, they just can’t get any help.”
While there are some government services available, such the Housing First program, it is far from adequate for most people.
In the past, some homeless services have offered housing to those in need, but in the current crisis, there are only two housing services in the Northern Territory.
“Many of them have nowhere else to go, and it’s very hard to find someone who will take care of them