Each night more than 19,000 Australians sleep in crisis accommodation. And one in 98 needed the help of homeless services during the last financial year.
The report says 128,378 people using those services were at risk of homelessness.
Children under 17 made up 29 per cent of that total, with kids under 10 accounting for 17 per cent.
Young people aged 18-24 had the highest level of need, with one in every 56 accessing services.
Young women in that age group had an even higher representation, at one in 42.
Overall, Victoria had the highest number – 76,590 – of people needing help, followed by NSW (53,532) and Queensland (42,930).
However, the Northern Territory and ACT had more people seeking services relative to their populations.
There were 299 people per 10,000 seeking help in the NT, and 170 per 10,000 in the ACT, compared to 75 per 10,000 in NSW.
While 86 per cent of those seeking services were born in Australia, New Zealand, Sudan and UK were the top three countries for migrants needing help.
Indigenous people were over-represented in the overall count of people seeking homeless services.
Institute spokesman, Geoff Neideck, said a major cause of homelessness in Australia was domestic violence.
Homeless Australia spokeswoman, Narelle Clay, said the high numbers of very young children needing support was concerning.
She called for extra investment in housing to ensure Australia is on track to meet its target to halve homelessness by 2020.
As first appeared in skynews.com.au, 18 December 2012.