Key Area:

LGBTQIA+ Housing & Homelessness

PFA commenced this work in 2015 in recognition of the high proportion of LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness or unstable housing, and the lack of Australian research data and policy responses to this important issue.

We decided to situate this work in an academic context, and Ruth McNair offered to be the voluntary program leader as part of her academic role at the University of Melbourne. She convened an advisory committee comprising people with lived experience of homelessness, homelessness sector representatives, academics and donors. She appointed Dr Cal Andrews as program coordinator, and Cal worked tirelessly in the role for the next 5 years. Cal and Ruth secured multiple grants to fund this work over that time.

Funding sources

Projects funded towards addressing LGBTQIA+ People Experiencing homelessness

LGBTIQ homelessness research project

Jan’16 – Sep’17

Team: Cal Andrews and Ruth McNair with Swinburne University of Technology—Dr Sharon Parkinson and Dr Deborah Dempsey.

This involved secondary data analysis of two large Australian surveys- Journeys Home and the General Social Survey.  It also included interviews with LGBT people and homelessness services to understand the drivers of LGBTIQ homelessness in Australia.

Trans and gender diverse pilot project

Aug’16 – Nov’17

Team: Cal Andrews and Ruth McNair with Launch Housing Anna Wark, Transgender Victoria, Drummond St Services.

This involved establishing a community reference group, developing a TGD-specific model of care and training resources for the homelessness service sector, implementing this in 4 pilot sites at Launch Housing, including training and whole-of-service systems change.

LGBTIQ Safe Housing Network pilot project

Aug’17 – Aug ’19

Funded by a large VicHealth innovations grant.

Team: Cal Andrews and Ruth McNair at University of Melbourne and Dr Jen Power at La Trobe University

Including an expert steering group and a consumer advisory group. This was a 2 year pilot project involving peer workers at Drummond St Services and Uniting Care in Shepparton. A total of 39 people went through the safe housing network program. Participants were provided with support to navigate the homelessness and housing sectors primarily by a peer support worker.

LGBTIQ national best practice guide for homelessness and housing services

Jan’18 – June’19

Team: Council to Homeless Persons and University of Melbourne with PFA (then GALFA)

Funded by National LGBTI health Alliance 

This was a Delphi-style consultation process with 2 consultation groups: LGBTIQ community experts, and housing and homelessness sector experts. It involved diverse representation at state and national levels. 

It resulted in an online guide with downloadable fact sheets in 3 key sections: content for service workers, content for service managers, resources for clients and staff (information packs and audit tool). This was launched online in 2020.

Spin off projects addressing LGBTQIA+ People Experiencing homelessness

Also see the LGBTI Homelessness projects website to access multiple papers and reports:

Churchill Fellowship Dr Cal Andrews

Cal’s project will involve visiting a range of specialised LGBTIQ+ homelessness services and programs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Cal will report on strengths, challenges, and impacts of different models, with recommendations for service provision and policy in Australia. Cal is conducting their tour in May-June 2023.

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Council to Homeless Persons online training LGBTQ homelessness

The guide has been included in a number of training initiatives including now being part of the annual calendar of training for homelessness services around Australia.


This initiative was funded by the state government arose from the safe housing network pilot findings as well as extensive community consultations. It was launched in August 2022 and is run by a consortium co-led by VincentCare Victoria and Drummond Street Services, in partnership with Uniting and Family Access Network. The program will help prevent and address homelessness by supporting services to improve the safety of LGBTIQ+ people and strengthen connections between the specialist homelessness service system and LGBTIQ+ support services.


Latest News

The latest updates on our work addressing LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness.

Our Successful Launch Of The Housing And Homelessness Inclusivity Guide

LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Practice Guide for Homelessness and Housing Sectors in Australia Now Online

LGBT homelessness project report launch

LGBTI Homelessness project update

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