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Adelaide Launches Online Tool Tracking Rough Sleeping Numbers


13 August 2018 at 9:21 am
Luke Michael
Imagine if the evening news bulletin reported the number of rough sleepers like it did the weather or stock market. This gap in public awareness has inspired a new online tool showing South Australians how many people are sleeping rough in Adelaide on any given night.


Luke Michael | 13 August 2018 at 9:21 am


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Adelaide Launches Online Tool Tracking Rough Sleeping Numbers
13 August 2018 at 9:21 am

Imagine if the evening news bulletin reported the number of rough sleepers like it did the weather or stock market. This gap in public awareness has inspired a new online tool showing South Australians how many people are sleeping rough in Adelaide on any given night.  

Launched last Wednesday as part of the Don Dunstan Foundation’s (DDF) Adelaide Zero Project, this online dashboard actively tracks the number of rough sleepers in the city and how many of them have moved into secure housing.

DDF executive director, David Pearson told Pro Bono News the dashboard offered a dynamic measure of the project’s target to achieve functional zero homelessness – where the number of homeless people on any given night is no greater than housing placement availability.

But he said the dashboard also offered increased public awareness about the plight of homelessness.

“The dashboard will show people the scale of Adelaide’s homelessness problem at any given point,” Pearson said.

“Imagine if we got the nightly television news to report this like they did the weather and the movements of the stock market.

“This number is just as important as those things and so we want to have that publicly recorded for the community, so they can think about what we can do to provide a better outcome for these people.”

The dashboard will be updated initially on a monthly basis, with a longer-term goal of it being updated in as close to real time as possible.

In the latest update on 3 August, 148 people were known to be actively sleeping rough in Adelaide’s inner-city, which Pearson said was a “really manageable number”.

The Adelaide Zero Project has brought together more than 35 organisations, who have set a goal for Adelaide to become the first Australian city to achieve functional zero homelessness in the inner-city by the end of 2020.

Pearson said even though achieving functional zero homelessness was the project’s initial goal, this would not mean the job was done.   

“We don’t just want to achieve functional zero. We want to sustain it and make sure that as more people fall into homelessness, which we know will happen, that we get them into housing as quickly as possible,” he said.

“And we’re only doing this right now to address inner-city street homelessness. But over time, it is our ambition to expand so we can work with all of South Australia and with all forms of homelessness.”  


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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