Adelaide Zero Project milestone – over 500 South Australians housed

Through the collective efforts of partners in the Adelaide Zero Project, including government agencies, over five hundred South Australians who were sleeping rough in Adelaide’s inner city have been housed.

This record comes as the Project aims to reduce homelessness in Adelaide’s CBD by up to 30 per cent by April 2021.

Adelaide Zero Project Co-Chair, Louise Miller Frost, said that this was a significant moment for the Project but also an opportunity to refocus our goals moving forward. “This is an important milestone. Over two years, the Adelaide Zero Project has helped support and house 500 South Australians doing it tough,” Ms Miller Frost said.

“Building on this achievement, we’re refocussing our efforts to ensure we don’t take our foot off the accelerator. By April 2021, we hope to have less than 140 South Australians on our By-Name List experiencing homelessness in Adelaide’s inner-city. Given the challenges our community is facing, this goal is ambitious but it can be done.

“This includes increased capacity for specialised support, so we can better assist those experiencing long term or multiple episodes of homelessness along with Aboriginal people, young South Australians and veterans.”

The Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Marshall Liberal Government, in partnership with service providers, had worked hard to house 250 South Australians experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To successfully help so many people so quickly off the street and into a longer-term home is a remarkable achievement,” said Minister Lensink.

“The fact that we have been able to house so many South Australians through organisations working closely together indicates we are on the right path to making an impact on reducing street homelessness.

“The Marshall Liberal Government remains committed to ensuring we continue to prevent people falling into homelessness and supporting more people into safe, stable and long-term housing is a key focus.”

Adelaide Zero Project has worked with Jake Maguire of US-based organisation, Community Solutions, who have helped 16 communities to achieve functional zero homelessness.

“Adelaide should be commended for its nation-leading efforts to end homelessness, starting with this milestone of housing over 500 people. Other communities in Australia who are using similar count-up or count-down methods are yet to achieve this milestone in such a short period of time and are keenly watching their peers in Adelaide with admiration,” Jake Maguire, Principal, Community Solutions.

Since 2018, the Adelaide Zero Project has developed comprehensive and quality data on rough sleeping through Adelaide’s first Connections Week and the By-Name List, a live list of the names and needs of those experiencing homelessness in the inner city.

As of 30 November 2020, AZP has housed 508 people across the project’s lifetime. However, there are currently 201 people actively homeless, including 110 people sleeping rough.  These are numbers on which the Adelaide Zero Project partners will continue to work together in 2021.

Adelaide Zero Research Report: Better understanding the People on the Adelaide Zero Project’s By-Name List – Full Report

The AZP holds some of the most comprehensive data on rough sleeping homelessness for a defined geographical area—the Adelaide CBD—in Australia. This report presents the findings of a targeted deep dive into the rich data source that is the Adelaide Zero Project’s (AZP’s) By-Name List (BNL), using two distinct lenses: acuity and inflows.

The report articulates some of the ways forward for the homelessness sector and interfacing systems to end street homelessness in Adelaide’s inner city area. It offers a framework (a ‘recipe book’) for more regular data analytics for the AZP. Such work must be prioritised for the AZP, as with such ‘live’ data analysis we can respond more effectively to the changing needs of people in the system, as well as driving individual, sustainable outcomes as well as system-level outcomes through greater service coordination. Additionally, more nimble data analysis enables AZP to rapidly test strategies to coordinate housing and support in a more efficient yet person-centred way.

Adelaide Zero Research Report: Better understanding the People on the Adelaide Zero Project’s By-Name List – Summary

This report provides a summary of findings of a targeted deep dive into the rich data source that is the Adelaide Zero Project’s (AZP’s) By-Name List (BNL), using two distinct lenses: acuity and inflows. The report articulates some of the ways forward for the homelessness sector and interfacing systems to end street homelessness in Adelaide’s inner city area.

A new phase for the Adelaide Zero Project

The Don Dunstan Foundation will transition the Adelaide Zero Project backbone function towards a new community-led structure by the end of 2020, in preparation for the State Government’s homelessness reforms.

After initiating the nation-leading Adelaide Zero Project (AZP) and playing a vital role in highlighting the issue of homelessness in our community, the Foundation’s ongoing work in the program has helped to embed significant innovation in the homelessness sector. Through DDF’s leadership role as a non-service delivery, backbone organisation, it has helped to embed collaboration, skills and capacity within Adelaide Zero Project partner organisations which are now well-equipped to continue to deliver the core mechanisms of the Adelaide Zero Project.

After the Foundation’s work promoting and demonstrating collective impact in bringing together project partners, and now with the South Australian Government adopting new reforms to address homelessness in the State, it is timely for AZP partners and the homelessness sector to adopt and embed learnings from the Project.

“We are pleased to see the SA Government embrace elements of the recommendations from DDF’s Thinker in Residence, Dr Nonie Brennan, including a Housing First approach across the state-wide homelessness reforms,” said Chair of the Don Dunstan Foundation, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith.

“We recognise there are opportunities for AZP to evolve as a result of the sector’s upcoming reforms and we feel it is a timely, natural progression for DDF to transition out of the backbone role, to enable partner organisations and the broader sector to embed experience from the AZP in a sustainable way as part of a new Alliance model. We are confident these core mechanisms will still enable homelessness in Adelaide to continue to move towards reaching ‘Functional Zero’,” she said. 

“The Foundation acknowledges the sector for helping to make homelessness an agreed community and social priority. The way that service providers, Government and non-profits have put aside their own interests to focus on the greater good, highlights the determination and good will of the sector, despite any challenges that might continue to exist in the broader system,” Dr Lomax-Smith says.

During the next two months, the Don Dunstan Foundation will work with Adelaide Zero Project partners to ensure the project’s core mechanisms such as the By-Name List, Data Dashboard, Inner City Community of Practice and Project Steering Group will continue during the reforms.

The Foundation will also produce a blueprint report on the collective impact, alliance-based Adelaide Zero Project to continue to inform the new SA Government homelessness reforms.

Although 495 people have been housed across the project’s lifetime, there are currently 198 people actively homeless in Adelaide’s inner city, including 107 people sleeping rough.

Thinkers in Residence launch Social Capital Residencies final report

The Don Dunstan Foundation’s Thinkers in Residence program has published a new report on how to build a more purposeful economy for South Australia, with nine key recommendations creating an invaluable roadmap for shaping the future of SA’s social development and economy.

The Social Capital Residencies (SCR) report details how not-for-profit and for-profit organisations can collaborate, with inclusivity the key to building and sustaining a purposeful economy.

“It was my pleasure to act as the Principal Thinker in Residence over these two years and to be joined by an incredible cadre of other Thinkers as we worked together with South Australians to imagine a better future for your State,” says Allyson Hewitt, who is currently Vice-President, Impact, MaRS Discovery District (Toronto, Canada).

“The work of the for-purpose sector has already gained momentum in South Australia, with the establishment of Lot Fourteen and a growing expat community returning to South Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If capitalised on, these natural progressions of the report’s recommendations could continue to grow the Purpose Economy,” Ms Hewitt says.

“We also highlight that larger corporates are essential to championing South Australia as a leader in the Purpose Economy. The road to a purposeful economy must include organisations of all size and stature, including the big four consulting agencies, and other large companies with bases in SA,” says Ms Hewitt.

Chair of the Don Dunstan Foundation, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, has welcomed the report and says the work of the five Thinkers will be invaluable to the state.

“As all of our Thinkers in Residence programs have done, the Social Capital Residencies report will bring additional thought leadership to South Australia.”

“Our warmest gratitude goes to our former Thinkers for the work they did while in the state, and for producing this informative report,” says Dr Lomax-Smith.

Launched in 2017, the Social Capital Residencies program ran until June 2019 and saw nine visits to the state from five social innovation experts from around the globe. Over the two years, these expert Thinkers met with over 8,000 South Australians through workshops, events and roundtables.

Following the guidance of expert Thinkers, and with SA’s best interest at the forefront of the minds of all stakeholders, SA holds the opportunity to pave the way for national economic development that will see greater outcomes and social returns for the broader community; an economy that is community centred.

The Social Capital Residency’s final report is available here.

Social Capital Residencies – Final Report

From 2017 to 2019 the re-invigorated Thinkers in Residence program was hosted by the Foundation. Entitled the Social Capital Residency, the goal was to enable South Australia to lead the country in creating jobs that both contribute to the economy and create social/ environmental impact. Five Thinkers visited the state across two years, culminating in nine key recommendations.

This Report offers a framework for the nine recommendations for action. It is based on five (5) principles. It outlines conditions for success that sit atop change levers that our Thinkers believe, if advanced, will result in South Australia being recognized as a vibrant, purposeful economy that will create new jobs and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Adelaide Zero Project meets monthly housing milestone

Despite the enormous challenges of COVID-19, Adelaide’s homelessness rate is going down with more people housed than coming into rough sleeping each month since June. In July, the Adelaide Zero Project housed 72 people – its highest ever housing rate in a month; previously, the housing rate sat at a median of 12 people before the pandemic.

The Adelaide Zero Project’s monthly housing rate has steadily increased since May – largely due to the collaborative COVID-19 emergency accommodation response for people sleeping rough, which has been led by SA Housing Authority, Neami National, Hutt St Centre, Baptist Care SA and other project partners, in conjunction with the project’s backbone organisation, the Don Dunstan Foundation.

Adelaide Zero Project Co-Chair Louise Miller Frost said the new data was a ‘big step’ towards the project’s target.

“We are seeing an average of 33 people per month entering rough sleeping, so if we can keep up the momentum of housing over 70 people per month we will make real strides towards our target,” Ms Miller Frost said.

“This includes people who are sleeping rough in the city, or who have since moved into temporary shelter – we can then know these people’s names and needs and eventually connect them to support and accommodation.

“The Adelaide Zero Project has shown during COVID-19 that it is possible to coordinate housing and support for people sleeping rough faster than ever before, especially when we all work together.

Louise Miller Frost, Co Chair, Adelaide Zero Project

“Using our collaborative approach, with not for profit services and housing providers working together with SA Housing Authority to secure long-term housing and support for those who had been sleeping rough.

“While we celebrate this milestone now, we are concerned there may be an increase in homelessness in the coming months, as the impacts of COVID-19 and the recession continue to be felt across the community.

“Adelaide Zero Project’s By-Name List and our collaborative approach put us in an ideal position to monitor any increases in rough sleeping in the city and respond both quickly and collectively,” said Ms Miller Frost.

“To successfully help so many people off the street and into a longer-term home is an outstanding achievement,” said the Hon. Michelle Lensink MLC, Minister for Human Services.

“This really shows what can be achieved when the sector works together to achieve a common goal and a lot of hard work has made this outcome possible.

“To continue to achieve these positives outcomes for South Australians, we need to make sure that all parts of the homelessness system are continuing to work together, and this is central to the reforms we are undertaking at the moment,“ said Minister Lensink.

Although 468 people have been housed across the project’s lifetime, there are currently 218 people actively homeless in Adelaide’s inner city, including 117 people sleeping rough.

SALA winner keen to continue artistic impact

Written by Lili Rose.

This year’s winner of the SALA Don Dunstan Foundation Award is inspiring textile artist, Makeda Duong, who says winning the award came as a shock.

‘I was a little bit surprised. I felt like the other two finalists were strong contenders as well,’ Duong said.

The winning piece, Duong’s Mixed Race Sweater, is a layered, intimate piece displaying and examining the questions made to her about her identity and her musings on the complexities of being a mixed race, Vietnamese-Australian woman.

‘It’s partly about how I’m perceived as a mixed race, half Asian person, but there’s also a lot of stuff going on behind it to do with my father’s past coming from Vietnam, a country that suffered a lot of invasion, war and trauma,’ said Duong.

The sweater, which is split evenly displaying the colours of the Australian flag on the front and the South Vietnamese flag on the back, is a manifestation of her own heritage and the curiosity it inspires in other people. 

As part of her exhibition Mixed Race Female, the sweater asks its audience to reflect upon themselves and the powerful social positions in which questions like ‘Where are you from’ and ‘Am I Australian’ come from.

Each of these questions, which make assumptions about identity based on name or appearance, have been asked to Makeda, an experience known to many other people of colour in Australia.

‘Firstly, there’s something about being a person of colour, it’s very visible, it’s a fact that’s right there, the colour of your skin, colour of your eyes, colour of your hair…it sets you apart,’ Duong said.

Additionally, the sweater’s colours comment on the duality in views on communism, comparing the difference between her father’s experience in Vietnam, which led to his migration to Australia, to the ideals of Western youth.

‘I was thinking that a lot of young Western people have this really positive view of communist ideals now, they see it as a positive alternative to capitalism. Whereas, people like my dad, who came from Vietnam, have had oppressive communist rule and see it as a negative thing. This intrigued me and I might be thinking about that in future works,’ said Duong.

Winning the DDF SALA Festival Award hasn’t been the only response Makeda has had for her work. The exhibition has been featured in a number of local publications, further demonstrating the profound impact it’s had on the public.

‘I think it’s made me realise these kinds of works on these topics has really resonated with a lot of people, probably more than I thought it would,’

‘A lot of things that aggravate me tend to make me want to make artwork as a reaction to it.’ Duong said.

The initial inspirations for the sweater began with Duong’s first piece from 2015, the Cursed Boyfriend Sweater, a manifestation of the unhealthy things couples say to each other knitted into a wearable sweater.

Duong plans to save the $1000 prize money to continue creating artwork on topics of mental health, migration, race, and gender.

‘I think it’s emboldened me to make work if I feel I have something to say about it, not feel like I can’t or that it’s a topic that I’m going to be attacked or perceived negatively for,’ said Duong.

With a specialisation in textiles, Duong says she won’t be moving away from the medium any time soon. Instead, she’s considered creating more sculptural works like those currently featured in her exhibition.

Although having a break after this exhibition, Duong will continue to contemplate conceptual avenues, further focusing on ideas of communism and the funding cuts within the arts sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mixed Race Female is showing at Nexus Arts Gallery until September 17th.

Congratulations Baroness Louise Casey!

Baroness Louise Casey

Written by Edward McLeish

Queen Elizabeth II has elevated 2017 Don Dunstan Orator Dame Louise Casey to the title of Baroness.

Baroness Louise Casey has been a driving force in ending homelessness and has developed a number of bespoke social policy programmes governments have used globally.

Aside from being an annual Don Dunstan Orator in 2017, Bss Casey challenged the city of Adelaide to solve its homelessness problem – a challenge giving birth to the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Zero Project.

Some of Bss Casey’s UK achievements include becoming director of Shelter (1992), head of the Rough Sleepers’ Unit (1999), a director of the Anti-Social Behavioural Unit (2003), head of the Respect Task Force (2005), was the UK’s first Victims Commissioner in 2010 and the director-general of Troubled Families in 2011. In February this year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Bss Casey as an adviser to help tackle homelessness.

Bss Casey has consistently delivered brave and innovative solutions to long standing social problems ranging from homelessness to anti-social behaviour to troubled families.

And throughout her illustrious career, Bss Casey has maintained her commitment to the charity sector and has been a driving force in the establishment of the Institute for Global Homelessness (which works with the Adelaide Zero Project), with the aim of delivering an international solution to homelessness across the world.

Previously, Bss Casey was awarded the Companion of the Order of Bath (CB) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2008 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2016.

The Don Dunstan Foundation congratulates Baroness Louise Carey for her promotion, her leadership and her stellar achievements in reducing homelessness.

Dr Guy Turnbull – Final Report 2020

SOCIAL CAPITAL RESIDENCIES

Towards a Co-operative State:

Securing the Social and Economic Prosperity of South Australia through corporate diversity