20 June, 2023

Adelaide Zero Project reaches 1000 housing outcomes for people experiencing rough sleeping homelessness

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Homelessness is a complex problem, and one the Adelaide Zero Project (AZP) believes is solvable.

AZP, now in its fifth year of operation, is celebrating the achievement of 1000 housing outcomes for people experiencing rough sleeping homelessness in the CBD. 

AZP’s mandate is to achieve functional zero homelessness for people experiencing rough sleeping across the CBD, a milestone that indicates a community has measurably solved homelessness for a population by making it rare, brief and non-recurring.

This month’s 1000 housing outcomes is the legacy of five years’ collaboration and effort across government, Council, the sector and community.

The State Government has championed AZP since its first street count in May 2018. This commitment remains strong today, with the South Australian Housing Authority (SAHA) a core service partner and provider of public housing properties to the initiative.

As a government, we are committed to supporting the most vulnerable and at-risk people in our community, including people experiencing rough sleeping homelessness. Today’s cost of living and housing crisis means collaborative and evidence-led initiatives like AZP are more important than ever,” said Nat Cook MP, Minister for Human Services.

“We are proud to be part of an initiative that has housed over 1000 people experiencing rough sleeping over the last five years.” (Minister Cook)

AZP is auspiced through the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (AAEH), which adopts internationally proven and evidence-led approaches to end homelessness, one community at a time.

“AZP’s work means that at any point in time, we know by name who is experiencing rough sleeping homelessness in the CBD. Every person’s experience of homelessness is different, so it’s important we understand each person’s unique story and their experience, and respond accordingly,” said David Pearson, CEO of the AAEH.

AZP is only possible when you have multiple partners committed and invested in a common purpose. AZP provides a data-led, collaborative and transparent approach to tackling homelessness. At any time, community can see the state of rough sleeping homelessness in the CBD, through a public dashboard.”

“We know we can end homelessness one community at a time. AZP provides the methodology and supports for the sector, government, council and community to do this in the ACC region.” (DP, AAEH)

Moving forward, we are looking to extend the functional zero methodology into other communities across South Australia.”

The City of Adelaide is an important AZP partner and enabler of this place-based collaboration:

“We know every capital city in Australia has a unique experience of homelessness. 60 per cent of people experiencing rough sleeping in South Australia are in the Adelaide CBD. We applaud the AZP reaching this milestone and remain committed to working collaboratively with all partners to reduce the issues that result in homelessness so that everyone in our communities can live with safety and certainty,” said Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith.

The Toward Home Alliance (THA) provides the coal-face response to people experiencing homelessness in the CBD, as well as targeted resourcing to drive collaboration and quality improvement across the project.

Collaboration and collective impact is at the heart of this milestone. Our teams have a good understanding of who is on the street at any point in time, and how we can best support them”. (THA)

AZP means that we have all partners at the table, at any point in time – housing, health, mental health, corrections, Council and more. This means we can support people holistically, and more effectively.” (THA)

For Jason, being offered a South Australian Housing Authority property after two and half months of homelessness and rough sleeping has meant he is able to focus his mental health without worrying where he will sleep for the night. “This has meant a lot…it’s given me independence and means I’m able to look after my mental health. Living alone has really improved my mental health.”

As AZP and sector partners celebrate this important milestone, we are reminded there is still much work to be done. We know it takes a community to end homelessness, and we all have a role to play. Street Connect is a website that encourages community members to provide information about anyone they believe may be rough sleeping in the CBD. The information provided is responded to by the Toward Home Resolve Outreach team which operates seven days a week. For more information, visit www.streetconnect.sa.gov.au.

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Matt Halliwell