Adelaide Zero Project Impact Report released

Four years after developing a ground-breaking programme with a coalition of partners to reduce rough sleeping in Adelaide’s inner city, the Don Dunstan Foundation is today releasing an Impact Report on the Adelaide Zero Project’s achievements to this point.

The Adelaide Zero Project Impact Report has highlighted that since 2017, over five hundred South Australians who had been sleeping rough in Adelaide’s inner city have been provided with stable and long-term housing due to the collaboration of the Adelaide Zero Project partners. Despite this progress, The Impact Report states that there is still significant work needed to provide better outcomes for the people sleeping rough in our city.

Over 40 organisations from across the public, private, community and university sectors came together and committed to achieving Functional Zero rough sleeping in the Adelaide CBD. This collaboration allowed, for the first time in the Adelaide CBD, the collection of comprehensive data on the people sleeping rough, in particular their names and needs. This By-Name List remains crucial to finding the most suitable housing option for each individual.

Adelaide Zero Project Chair and CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society (SA), Louise Miller Frost, said that the Impact Report shines a light on the Adelaide Zero Project’s focus on innovation, “The Adelaide Zero Project facilitates the key stakeholders in the homelessness sector to come together, to think and operate differently, in order to achieve better outcomes for the people sleeping rough in our city.”

“By adopting the Functional Zero approach, Adelaide took on the challenge to be the first city outside of North America to reach Functional Zero homelessness for people who are sleeping rough.”

“In working towards this goal, the Project established a collective governance structure, a collectively owned and shared set of data, and helped to co-ordinate services and secure appropriate housing for people sleeping rough in the inner-city.”

Ms Miller Frost also highlighted the Impact Report’s focus on the future of the Adelaide Zero Project, “Whilst the Project has been successful in many ways, there is still significant work to do. We must ensure there is a continued and urgent focus on people who are still sleeping rough. The Project is currently targeting ways to increase the capacity for specialised support, to better assist those experiencing long term or multiple episodes of homelessness along with Aboriginal people, young people and veterans.”

Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, Chair of the Don Dunstan Foundation, which has acted as the Project’s critical backbone organisation said, “The Impact Report provides an important account of the way the Don Dunstan Foundation, through the Adelaide Zero Project, has focused attention on ending rough sleeping in our city. We are delighted to see this goal is being carried forward by the SA Housing Authority, who have set a target to achieve Functional Zero for rough sleepers state-wide by 2025 ” said Dr Lomax-Smith.

“We hope this report will both provide insights for other communities looking to bring innovation to their responses to homelessness, as well as inform the current state-wide reforms of the sector.”