The rise in the number of homeless people in Wide Bay.
The rise in the number of homeless people in Wide Bay. Centro Art

DATA: Jump in homelessness numbers across Bundaberg region

THE number of homeless people across Wide Bay is rising, a report has revealed.

The disconcerting increase, uncovered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showed that in 2017, 1522 people were recorded living without a home.

The data reflected a 265-person growth in the number of homeless people in the region since 2011 (1259).

Less discouraging was the number of people without a roof over their head in Bundaberg.

Last year, the ABS reported 346 people were homeless in Bundaberg - 217 less than in 2011 (563).

Broken down into suburbs, in 2017 the neighbourhood with the highest rate of homelessness in Bundaberg region was Bundaberg Central (95).

Following that was Gayndah/Mundubbera, which recorded 47 people doing it tough last year, and Bundaberg East/Kalkie, where 42 homeless people were reported.

Other suburbs where homelessness was prevalent included Bargara/Burnett Heads (40), Walkervale/Avenell Heights (33), Bundaberg North (32) and Svensson Heights/Norville (21).

Bundaberg Salvation Army Youth Refuge manager Trudy said the numbers did not surprise her in the slightest.

"I've definitely noticed it myself," she said.

"Usually we go through a period where we're full up and then it dulls and dies down and then it picks up again.

"But we have been full, with a waiting list, ever since Christmas."

Trudy told the NewsMail there were at least a dozen people between 16-21 seeking refuge at the Bundy facility.

"There's really nowhere for them to transition out to that they can afford," she said.

When asked what she thought contributed towards the steady rise in homelessness in Wide Bay, Trudy pointed to drugs, alcohol and mental health.

"But family breakdown is another big one," she said.

The ABS's data underwent further categorisation and was broken down by each individual's circumstances - whether they were living in impoverished dwellings, tents, sleeping outside or staying at supported accommodation.

The number of people living in tents, outside, or in impoverished dwellings last year in Bundaberg was 19.

There were 270 people under the same category in Wide Bay and 126 in Burnett.

The number of homeless people living in supported accommodation in Bundaberg in 2017 was 107 - less than half Wide Bay's 265 and significantly higher than Burnett's eight.

Admitting she did not think most residents would notice the rise in homelessness throughout the region, Trudy said "You only have to go down to the bridge to see it (the growing problem)".

"A lot of people block it out," she said.

The Bundaberg Salvation Army Youth Refuge offers units for young families up to 24 years and individuals between 16-21.

The facility consists of two sets of four units and also offers shared facilities.