Adelaide Zero Project
- About the Adelaide Zero project
The Don Dunstan Foundation has a proud history of engaging with homelessness issues. We think that in 2017, Adelaide shouldn’t be seeking just to address street homelessness but to end it, just as other cities like Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans are seeking to do.
On any given night there are up to 120 people sleeping rough in the city which is something the Don Dunstan Foundation is keen to address.
Each year we host 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.Zero Project at the 2016 Addressing Homelessness Conference.
If you are interested in being involved in this project in any way please contact us.
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.
- The Functional Zero Approach
Roseanne Haggerty’s organisation Community Solutions developed the Functional Zero approach, built on the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement that helped communities find homes for 105,580 homeless people in just four years.
The Zero Approach, rather than counting up as this previous campaign did, counts down to zero. So far the United States-named ‘Built for Zero’ campaign has been adopted in 75 communities in the United States, and seven communities have achieved Functional Zero homelessness for veterans, and three communities for chronically homeless people.
A community reaches Functional Zero when the average capacity of its housing system is greater than the existing need and this can be proven with data. Functional Zero would be reached in Adelaide when the number of people sleeping on the streets at any point in time, is no greater than the average housing placement rate for that same period (usually a month).
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 website.
The Zero Project is supported by the Institute of Global Homelessness. More information can be found about them here
- The Opportunity
Adelaide has the chance to be the first city outside of North America to commit to achieving Functional Zero street homelessness and this sits well with the many ambitions for our city. Adelaide has already declared to the world that we want to be a carbon neutral city, a vibrant city, a smart city, and a city of music. In 2017, we think that we ought to also be a Functional Zero street homelessness city.
The Don Dunstan Foundation believes that if our capital city is truly to be the doorway through which we project an image of ourselves to the world, we must also be an inclusive city, where our most vulnerable – those sleeping on the street – can have a place to call home. We believe that achieving functional zero homeless in Adelaide is not only desirable and consistent with the collective aspirations for our city, but it is also eminently achievable.
- The Adelaide Zero Project Approach
The project has been broken up into several phases:
Phase One will determine how the Zero Approach from the United States can be implemented in Adelaide, including the establishment of goals, structures and timelines to support implementation.
Phase Two will see the implementation of the Zero Approach in Adelaide and is expected to begin as soon as the first phase is compete (early 2018).
Phase Three will start when Functional Zero street homelessness has been achieved, and will focus on sustaining it, which we know will be the ultimate challenge.
Phase Four will seek to expand the approach to include areas outside the Adelaide Central Business District and other forms of homelessness such as couch surfing, inadequate housing, no tenure, etc.
- Key Components of the Adelaide Zero Project
The development of the Adelaide Zero Project is being informed by a research project conducted by the University of Adelaide and Flinders University. The research project will provide a best practice evidence base for applying the Functional Zero approach in Adelaide. So far, the following have been identified as the key components that will need to be in place to implement this approach in Adelaide:
- A by-name list – developed and kept up to date in real time, helps ensure that we know the names of all the people who are sleeping on the streets.
- A Connections Week – where volunteers meet with and assess the needs of every person sleeping on the street.
A commitment to Housing First – where a no or low-barrier approach to permanently housing homeless people is adopted.
- Map the homelessness system – to understand how health, justice and other systems interact with it.
Aligning housing – better utilise existing and new housing options to move people on the
by-name list into permanent housing.
- Engage homeless people – ensuring that the voice of the people with lived experience of homelessness is heard in all aspects of the Project.
- Innovate and evaluate – by testing and ‘learning by doing’ we can ensure that the Project adapts to changing circumstances. Governance structures will be key to this.
- Shared goals, definitions and measures – creation of a dashboard to set out, in real time, data relating to street homelessness and progress reporting.
- Coalition of key stakeholders – is needed across a range of sectors to help implement and drive the Project.
Coordinated entry system – that adopts a ‘no wrong door approach’ and ensures that consistent outcomes are required.
- Next Steps
Phase one of the Adelaide Zero Project consists of six main components:
- A Discussion Paper to set out what the Zero Project is seeking to achieve, how it works and acts as a mechanism to gain feedback from all parts of the South Australian community on the approach being taken. Read the Discussion Paper released on 17 August 2017.
- An Issues Paper to set out in detail what the key components of this project are, how they could be implemented, who could operate this, what other issues need to be resolved.
- A 90-Day Change Project to act as the mechanism for deliberating on the various matters that need resolution. It will be the process by which issues like measurement, timelines, governance structures and targets are agreed.
- A Charter to act as a mechanism to rally the collective efforts of the South Australian community needed to implement the Adelaide Zero Project.
- A Dashboard to display, in as close to real time as possible, the number of people sleeping rough in the City of Adelaide – and demonstrate if our efforts are working or not...
- A Final Report (to be released after the conclusion of the 90-Day Change Project) setting out what was decided and including an agreed community plan for achieving Functional Zero homelessness.
- Reports and Publications
We will regularly update this section with relevant reports and publications as they are released.
- Adelaide Zero Project Partners
We would like to acknowledge the partners in the Adelaide Zero project who are helping making this project a reality.
Don Dunstan Foundation
University of Adelaide
City of Adelaide
Government of South Australia – Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
Government of South Australia – Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Aboriginal Sobriety Group
Catherine House Inc
Hutt St Centre
Life Without Barriers
OARS Community Transition
St John’s Youth Services Incorporated
Australian Alliance to End Homelessness
Institute of Global Homelessness
Mental Health Coalition of South Australia
Women’s Safety Services SA
Annual Homelessness Conference
In 2014, the Dunstan Foundation partnered with the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP) to present the inaugural Addressing Homelessness Conference. The then Director of CHURP , Professor Andrew Beer, played a crucial role in shaping the topic and content of this important conference. This conference is now an annual event held during National Homelessness Prevention Week.
In combination with the inaugural conference the Dunstan Foundation convened a Round Table of leaders and decision makers in the homelessness and affordable housing sector, to start a conversation and to gain a shared understanding and view of the future, including further collaborative ventures to reduce homelessness. The Dunstan Foundation hopes to continue providing an independent, non-partisan environment for these discussions to occur so that they can influence future policy and practice.