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Adelaide Zero Project

Adelaide Zero Project logo

The Don Dunstan Foundation has a proud history of engaging with homelessness issues. We think that, in 2018, Adelaide shouldn’t be seeking just to respond to street homelessness but to end it, as other cities across the globe are doing through the Functional Zero approach.

The latest data on the Adelaide Zero Project Dashboard estimates there are 130 people or more sleeping rough in the city on any given night, which is something the Don Dunstan Foundation is keen to address.

There are now 36 partners in the Adelaide Zero Project, whose goal it is to end street homelessness in the inner city and ultimately end homelessness in South Australia.

See below for full details of the project.

Adelaide Zero Project Dashboard

Functional Zero Dashboard 2.0

Version 3.0 - launched August 2018

The Adelaide Zero Project Dashboard tracks our progress towards achieving and sustaining Functional Zero street homelessness in the inner city. This data will initially be updated monthly, but is intended to be updated in as close to real time as possible.

Functional Zero street homelessness is achieved when the number of people sleeping rough in the inner city is no greater than the housing available in that month, and this can be consistently proven with data. This dashboard our way of proving that.

In Connections Week (May 2018), 200 trained volunteers identified 143 people who were sleeping rough in the City of Adelaide. This information was used to create a By-Name List to help inner city homelessness services to know the names and needs of those sleeping rough.

As of Friday 18 January, 119 people on the By-Name List were actively sleeping rough. Since Connections Week, 97 people on the By-Name List have now moved into secure housing.

As the Adelaide Zero Project progresses and more data is collected, the dashboard will display more data points to track our progress towards Functional Zero.

Homelessness is a dynamic issue and situations can change daily for people who are experiencing this. Functional Zero is a dynamic measure of this complex issue. As the Adelaide Zero Project progresses and our homelessness system improves, we expect these numbers to rise and fall until the system successfully sustains Functional Zero street homelessness.

The Adelaide Zero Project Dashboard is a collective effort of over 36 organisations. Connections Week was led by Hutt St Centre and the By-Name List establishment has been led by Neami National. The dashboard has been made possible thanks to the support of the Broadley Trust.



* As the Project progresses and more data is collected, these measurements will be added to the dashboard to track our progress towards Functional Zero.
** ‘Housed’ refers to people on the By-Name List who are now in secure housing and have signed a minimum 3-month lease with the opportunity to extend.
*** The inactive figure indicates the number of people who have not been in touch with the homelessness system for 90 days. This could be for many reasons including hospitalisation, moving out of Adelaide or the individual has obtained housing independently. Further work is being done to determine the inactive number, including the number of people who have obtained housing independently of the Adelaide Zero Project.

Historical Data.  As at 18 January 2019, 119 people on the By-Name List were actively sleeping rough and 97people on the By-Name List had moved into secure housing since Connections Week in May 2018.

This graph shows the number of people who are known to be sleeping rough in the inner city each month.

This data is from the By-Name List, which was established 18 May 2018 (Connections Week) and is used to track progress on the Dashboard above (launched August 2018).


People sleeping rough in the city from June 2007 to May 2018 (Connections Week)


*NOTE: The dashed vertical line marks Adelaide’s first Connections Week and baseline data for Adelaide Zero Project. Figures from June 2007 – Sep 2017 are Inner City Rough Sleeper Street Counts (Source: Housing SA). Fewer people were approached during the Street Count in September 2017 (136 people) than in May 2017 (225 people). Given the lower numbers of people approached to participate in the September 2017 Street Count, the apparent reduction in people sleeping rough at that time should be interpreted with caution. The vertical lines in May 2011 and February 2013 also reflect methodology changes to the Inner City Street Count.

Read the press release here.

Homeless Support

The City of Adelaide delivers and supports initiatives for vulnerable people, including people experiencing homelessness in the city. Visit the City of Adelaide website to see what services are available.

A comprehensive list of homeless support services can be found on the City of Adelaide Guide to Homelessness Services map.

Street Connect

If you see someone sleeping rough in the city, visit to provide some helpful information that will enable Street To Home to visit that person and offer appropriate assistance.

Referrals through Street Connect will also help services to maintain Adelaide Zero Project’s By-Name List and coordinate support as quickly as possible.

Taking Action to End Homelessness

The Don Dunstan Foundation is a thought leadership organisation that works on collaborative projects to inspire action for a fairer world, building on the legacy of the late Premier Don Dunstan.

One of our current areas of focus is homelessness.

Each year the Don Dunstan Foundation hosts a Homelessness Conference. Speaking at the 2016 Conference, former Adelaide Thinker in Residence, Roseanne Haggerty, outlined how she viewed homelessness as a solvable problem that Adelaide is uniquely placed to solve. Roseanne issued a challenge to put in place a plan to end street homelessness and organisations from across the public, private, community and university sectors have collectively taken up that challenge.

The Adelaide Zero Project is our response, with the Don Dunstan Foundation taking a coordination role for at least the first phase of the project.

A broad coalition of organisations has come together to lead the charge for Adelaide to become the first city outside North America to implement an approach that has seen seven communities achieve Functional Zero homelessness for veterans, and three communities for chronically homeless people.

If you are interested in being part of this project, please contact David Pearson, Executive Director.

Implementation Plan 2018 - 2020

The Adelaide Zero Project Implementation Plan sets out the next steps in the development of the project, the timeline for key activities and, crucially, which organisations will take responsibility for delivering the various elements of the project.The development of the Adelaide Zero Project is informed by a research team made up of academics from The University of Adelaide and Flinders University

Download the Implementation Plan

Download the Plan Summary

Media Release

Download the Final Research Report

The Functional Zero Approach

Functional Zero is an innovative approach for ending homelessness, pioneered by Community Solutions, and has been successfully adopted in the United States and internationally.

It involves a coordinated, broad‐based process for matching the need for housing with supply. A community reaches Functional Zero when the number of people sleeping on the streets at any point in time is no greater than the average housing capacity, and this is proven with data.

At its core, the Functional Zero approach is about knowing by name every person sleeping rough and coordinating local resources to quickly meet their need. Adelaide has the opportunity to be the first city outside of North America to achieve and sustain Functional Zero street homelessness.

The Adelaide Zero Project has set an interim target to achieve and sustain Functional Zero street homelessness in Adelaide’s inner city by the end of 2020. This will be reviewed following Connections Week where Adelaide Zero Project partners will collect new data by connecting with people sleeping rough in the inner city over a week-long exercise.

The Adelaide Zero Project is modelled on the highly successful Built for Zero campaign in the United States. Further information can be found on the Community Solutions websiteLink to external website

In March 2018 Community Solutions released the key learnings from the first three years of the Built for Zero initiative. You can read the Getting to Proof Points - Built for Zero Impact Report here.

The Zero Project is supported by the Institute of Global Homelessness. More information can be found about them here Link to external website

Dame Louise Casey

Dame Louise Casey has an extensive history supporting governments in the United Kingdom, working on homelessness, but also victims’ rights, and anti-social behaviour. She has been a driving force in establishing the Institute of Global Homelessness, which is supporting the Adelaide Zero Project.

Over the last 17 years Dame Louise has been instrumental in the development of a number of bespoke social policy programmes for Government.

Drawing on her experiences leading homeless charity Shelter, Dame Louise has consistently delivered brave and innovative solutions to long standing social problems ranging from homelessness to anti-social behaviour to troubled families.

As part of the Adelaide Zero Project, organisations, groups and individuals will be invited to contribute and commit to a Charter to help achieve Functional Zero street homelessness in Adelaide.

To receive updates on the Charter and other Adelaide Zero Project news, sign up to our mailing list.

Connections Week

May 14 – 18 2018

Connections Week is a collaborative effort by Hutt St Centre, Don Dunstan Foundation and other Adelaide Zero Project Partners. It marks the start of Phase 2 (Implementation) for the Adelaide Zero Project.

During Connections Week, nearly 200 dedicated workers and volunteers from across the sector tried to connect with every person sleeping rough in the city to get to know them by name and better understand their needs.

Connections Week volunteers at the first Outreach session briefing.


Connections Week volunteers engaged with 143 people sleeping rough in Adelaide's inner city in May 2018.

People sleeping rough were asked a range of questions (age, gender, physical & mental health, length of sleeping rough etc. etc.) which will help service providers put in place the supports that each individual rough sleeper needs to help them successfully transition them to long-term housing.

Download the results

Connections Week and Adelaide Zero Project Media

Adelaide and National print, online and radio media have been very supportive of the Adelaide Zero Project's aim to end homelessness in the inner city. See below for some articles published about the Project.

Our Project Partners

We would like to acknowledge the Adelaide Zero Project partners who are helping making this project a reality.

Everybody’s Home

Adelaide Zero Project is a proud supporter of the ‘Everybody’s Home’ campaign. To join, visit

Don Dunstan Foundation

Level 8, 115 Grenfell St
SA 5005 Australia


Phone: +61 8 8313 3364
ABN: 14 614 345 149

Registered Charity

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