New research from the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) shows a large percentage of homeless people are dependent on alcohol and drugs.
The ANCD estimates over 100,000 people are homeless every night with a third under the age of 25.
ANCD executive director, Gino Vumbaca, says a number of these people have problems with alcohol and drugs.
"What the council has found is that the levels are quite high - [they are] six times more likely to have a drug use disorder," he said.
"In some cases almost 50 per cent of people who are sleeping rough are dependent on alcohol and 50 per cent of clients would smoke cannabis on a regular basis."
"So what we're seeing is quite a substantial level of substance misuse amongst the homeless. I don't think that's startling but we've got some figures now to back that up."
Mr Vumbaca says greater focus needs to be placed on people who are homeless and dealing with addictions.
He says in some areas like Canberra the homeless are often overlooked.
"Often people don't see homeless people. They might see one or two people ... who have slept rough overnight ... but we are talking about over 1,000 people on any given night are homeless in Canberra," he said.
"As a result, they are sort of out of the way, out of sight and unfortunately out of our minds sometimes.
"So we don't invest what we need to invest in homeless shelters because we don't see the dimensions of the problem."
The ANCD in conjunction with the National Drug and Research Institute at Curtin University of Technology have today launched a new support website for people working in the homeless sector.
"Homeless services are often being stretched to capacity dealing with the day to day crisis that people are facing," Mr Vumbaca said.
"This makes it very hard for them to then address any underlying issues."
Mr Vumbaca says the Homeless Information Portal provides information on drug and alcohol use and how to address problems as they present.
"It also provides a database for services who will be able to look at what is in their local area and search for drug and alcohol services and other homeless services that may exist nearby," he said.
"So they can work with them and maybe co-manage clients, given they often haven't got the resources to deal with those client problems as they present on the night when people are looking for a roof over their head."
The ANCD is also working with the Federal Government to help raise awareness of the issue.
Mr Vumbaca says the Government will be releasing a white paper on homelessness and launching a major new strategy in the next few months.
"To make sure that we also invest in the difficult end of the homelessness problem which is people who have significant substance abuse problems, or mental health problems or for a lot of people both," he said.
"There needs to be a lot more support given to homeless shelters and the like to actually address the underlying causes of homelessness."
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