Fewer people rough sleeping in Adelaide CBD

11 Oct 2019 newsmedia

The number of people sleeping rough in the inner city has reduced in recent months – an encouraging sign that more people experiencing homelessness are being helped into stable housing.

The new data highlights how numbers can regularly fluctuate from month to month.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said that latest figures from the Adelaide Zero Project By-Name List showed that 163 people were identified as sleeping rough at September 18, compared to 208 in August, 226 in July, 215 in June and 227 in May.

“We know that the number of people rough sleeping in the city fluctuates constantly, but the decrease over the past few months is promising and we hope it continues,” said Minister Lensink.

“The recent reduction in people rough sleeping has been supported by the SA Housing Authority providing public housing for people experiencing homelessness, and by the ongoing work of our homelessness service providers.

“Since the By-Name List was created in May 2018, 238 people who had previously been sleeping rough have been placed into housing – this is a great achievement and is more placements than ever before."

“Efforts to reduce rough sleeping will be further boosted by the redeveloped Waymouth Street boarding house, which reopens this month and will be able to support up to 25 people, including couples and people with pets for the first time."

“Increasing access to appropriate housing and reducing homelessness through preventing people from falling through the cracks is a key focus of the Liberal Government and its partners."

“The challenges faced by rough sleepers, and the work of initiatives like the Adelaide Zero Project, are highlighted today on World Homelessness Day.”

The Liberal Government will release its new Housing and Homelessness Strategy by the end of the year, which will guide South Australia’s system over the next decade. Minister Lensink said she was “excited to launch a bold, new vison for housing in South Australia”.

“Given we face a range of significant and complex housing challenges it’s the right time to hit the reset button on a broken system,” said Minister Lensink.

“Over the past few months, the Liberal Government has been gathering input for our new strategy from our stakeholders, the sector and the community because we know housing provision is bigger than any one agency, provider or industry.”

The Adelaide Zero Project’s By-Name List is a real time list of people who are sleeping rough in Adelaide’s CBD.

The Adelaide Zero Project is a coalition of homelessness services dedicated to functional zero homelessness. It is coordinated by The Don Dunstan Foundation. Co-chair of the Adelaide Zero Project Louise Miller Frost said: “The last 18 months of the Adelaide Zero Project has shown that this type of community collaboration can have a meaningful effect on the number of people sleeping rough in our city.

“This additional crisis accommodation option for those sleeping rough is a positive sign, but we still need more resources."

“The next step of the project is to continue to support people experiencing homelessness into stabilised housing, then look at the prevention of people falling into homelessness in the first place.”