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.

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.

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.

Working together to prevent homelessness: Developing the Health, Housing and Homelessness Papers

Housing and health outcomes are intrinsically linked, and addressing these issues collectively is pivotal to preventing homelessness. Through a Public Health Partner Authority Agreement, the Don Dunstan Foundation and Wellbeing SA, along with SA Housing Authority and The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise within UniSA Business, have developed a conceptual framework through the Health, Housing and Homelessness paper series to improve our understanding of the multidirectional relationship between health and housing.

The dominant message the Health, Housing and Homelessness Papers highlight is the proven link between good quality and appropriate housing and good physical, mental and emotional health.  Additionally, the Papers also aim to show why developing policy geared towards supporting people’s housing needs is beneficial to the wider community.

According to the 2016 Census, 43.1% of low income households were in rental stress, where housing costs exceeded 30% of their gross income (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018). Rental stress impacts people’s ability to afford necessities for wellbeing, such as medical costs, healthy food and utilities.

The Health, Housing and Homelessness paper series includes:

The Papers build on the well-established public health understanding of prevention. Prevention, in the context of homelessness, does not currently have the same depth of understanding.

The third Paper in the Health, Housing and Homelessness series includes a homelessness prevention continuum adapted from a public health approach. This continuum considers a broad housing system and demonstrates how multi-level strategies can be translated into practical steps towards preventing homelessness and strengthening housing security.

Each paper was co-authored by Dr Victoria Skinner (SA Housing Authority), Dr Selina Tually (UniSA), Dr Beth Keough and Associate Professor Carmel Williams (Wellbeing SA), and Clare Rowley and Renee Jones (Don Dunstan Foundation). The Papers were developed using a Collective Impact approach, driven by multi-sector collaboration to achieve a common goal. The principles of Collective Impact are:

  • Common Agenda – all participants share a vision for change, including a common understanding of the problem and an agreed solution.
  • Shared Measurement Systems – alignment of participants’ efforts directed by a shared data collection and measurement methodology.
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities – highly coordinated approach to participants undertaking specific activities that support other participants’ activities, as opposed to many working in isolation.
  • Continuous Communication – long-term, consistent and open communication between participants to build trust and understanding.
  • Backbone Support Organisations – an organisation separate to the participants who can facilitate ongoing management and support of the initiative, such as the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Zero Project team.

For further information, each of the Health, Housing and Homelessness Papers are available to read online, in addition to an easy-to-read infographic highlighting the important relationship between health and housing.

SA’s creative thinkers stick together amid pandemic.

Written by Edward McLeish

Socially, culturally, politically and economically, it’s been a tough time for South Australia’s arts industry.

But the state’s COVID-free circumstances would place it better against other states’ creative sectors as it sings, dances, paints and plays its way out of a pandemic.

That’s according to a panel headlined by the Don Dunstan Foundation’s (DDF) first Thinker in Residence Martin Elbourne – as he joined the who’s who of SA’s arts industry for a webinar discussing the pandemic’s impacts on cultural institutions.

Adelaide Fringe CEO and Artistic Director Heather Croall facilitated the discussion – which featured Mr Elbourne, Adelaide UNESCO City of Music Director Beck Pearce, Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Rachel Healy and Art Gallery of South Australia Director Rhana Devenport.

Miss Pearce said the coronavirus had a ‘huge impact’ on creative industries – especially in the form of live music.

‘The main challenges were the restrictions to venues and music businesses,’ she said.

‘In terms of capacities and the ability to present live music, live performances have been hugely impacted.

‘The SA music industry contributes over $375 million – it’s a huge contributor to the economy.’

Attracting audiences to venues to dance to and interpret music has gone to a standstill; the inability for the tourism industry to thrive and lure local audiences to venues has dented SA’s economy.

So SA’s music industry and its crusading musicians face sustainability issues as they are constrained to paths of innovation, according to Miss Pearce.

‘Some musicians implement income via hospitality and teaching, which are industries that have also been impacted,’ she said.

Ms Healy said international workers were a big part of the Adelaide Festival; historically, the festival had attracted companies of up to 100 artists from around the world.

‘It’s a time-limited international arts festival – and in the middle of a pandemic, there are issues in programming,’ she said.

‘We’re seeing a bit of work locked in for the 2021 festival, but the majority of work for 2022; what we can’t fit in 2021 will impact how we program our ‘22 and ’23 years.’

Some of the other issues Ms Healy raised included getting visas for international artists through border control, an unwillingness for artists to travel and quarantine, agencies unwilling to offer insurance for incoming artists, the artists’ running costs mid and post-quarantine, and mental health issues.

‘Bureaucracy and anxiety are the main challenges for artists,’ she said.

‘You have to commit to taking one step at a time and keep going until someone tells you that you can’t keep going; everyone globally is in the same boat.

‘Most arts workers are trying to figure out a situation where they’re not sleeping out of their car.’

Ms Devenport said while the visual artists were doing it tough, it didn’t compare to live performers.

‘I really feel for the live arts; the nature of the live art form is about people being together,’ she said.

‘Without artists, everything disappears.’

To support some struggling visual artists, the Art Gallery of South Australia provided six $10,000 bursaries for artists – not something galleries typically do.

But Ms Devenport said the gallery’s annual appeal had more support than ever.

‘We’ve had lots of people deeply concerned about artists,’ she said.

Although community funding was pleasing for the gallery, Ms Devenport hoped there would be more financial support from the government for Australia’s creative industries.

‘In the UK, The Arts contributes seven per cent to its gross domestic product (GDP), and gets one per cent of government support, whereas Australia’s creative industries contribute 6.4 per cent to its GDP and only gets 0.25 per cent of support,’ she said.

While pandemic-specific challenges have impacted the arts industry, the COVID-19 crisis has provided opportunities for innovation among artists.

Mr Elbourne – who joined the webinar from The UK – has ensured successes in the music industry: booking artists at Glastonbury, co-founding WOMAD Festival and promoting festivals globally.

As the DDF’s first Thinker in Residence (2013), Mr Elbourne has evolved SA’s music industry; he said the residency inspired his career’s path over the past seven years.

One of the recommendations he made in the position was bringing the UNESCO City of Music office to Adelaide – currently headed by Miss Pearce.

Mr Elbourne said there opportunities to thrive included utilising its warm climate and rethinking the positioning of night clubs.

‘We might see the end of Hindley St – that’s the worst street in Australia and it ought to be the best street in Adelaide,’ he said.

‘What I’d like to see is large indoor night clubs moved to the outskirts of the city rather than the CBD – like Amsterdam and its super clubs.

‘The last thing opening up will be those night clubs, when people are at an indoors venue and singing and talking loudly – that’s a big no-no for quite some time.

‘But Adelaide’s climate means even in winter, you can go out and do things.’

Ms Healy said her team had been excited by opportunities for more outdoor festivals.

‘There’s always interesting opportunities to create works in non-traditional spaces that will be safer and create an event opportunity,’ she said.

Other ideas Ms Healy thought would bring masses together in a safe way included drive-in concerts, Perspex barriers separating seats in theatres, contract tracing and patron temperature checks.

Ms Croall said transitioning to digital opportunities (including Zoom plays, livestreaming and NEO Online) would meet the needs of some people unable to attend events for health reasons.

‘We’ve found ways to integrate innovations that we’ve got to roll out in the future,’ she said.

Miss Pearce said online platforms for a concert series would ‘break down accessibility barriers’.

‘It’s an opportunity to develop audiences over time,’ she said.

When it came to whether SA was better or worse placed than other states and countries, Ms Devenport said we were better placed as the majority of our industry’s audiences are local.

‘Last year, we had around a million visitors in a town of 1.3 million,’ she said.

Ms Croall said punters within the SA bubble have an opportunity to “crack in” to save the arts industry.  

‘In other galleries, 70 per cent of tickets come from out of town,’ she said.

“At the Adelaide Fringe this year, we sold 850k tickets, and although there were 30,000 tourists, nearly a million tickets sold with most of them local.’

Moving forward, the panel agreed more government funding to The Arts in SA was vital in its revival, and there was an important story to be told about what creative sectors provide households.

For example, Miss Pearce said music was key for many areas of learning.

“Music teaches literacy, social cohesion, empathy and many other things; music makes society better people and there’s a really important story to be told,’ she said.

Don Dunstan Executive Director Ritchie Hollands closed the webinar by quoting Don Dunstan:

The arts are an all-pervading part of our everyday lives. They intrude on us without our realising it, so subtle is their influence and so unrecognised their presence.

The DDF hosts Art For Good, harnessing opportunities in the arts for South Australians.

This includes the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Award and the Our Mob Emerging Artist Award.

Previous initiatives have included the Social Change Guide, which offers an overview of Adelaide Fringe Festival events with a social change theme, and the Dunstan Film Club, a quarterly movie event with a strong social justice message at its core.

Adelaide Zero Project Community Briefing: Making Progress during COVID-19

Dunstan Dialogue: Using data and collaboration to drive positive solutions

The Adelaide Zero Project is a nation-leading initiative that aims to end street homelessness in Adelaide’s inner city. The Adelaide Zero Project’s collaborative approach played a critical role in supporting people sleeping rough in the city during the COVID-19 time. This webinar shared the latest progress, data, research and solutions from Adelaide Zero Project partners and delved into the current state of street homelessness in Adelaide.

Facilitator: Louise Miller Frost, Co-Chair, Adelaide Zero Project and CEO, St Vincent De Paul Society SA

Speakers:

  • Dr Selina Tually, The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise (University of South Australia)
  • Kim Holmes, State Manager, Neami National SA
  • Ian Cox, Head, Office for Homelessness Sector Integration, SA Housing Authority
  • The Hon. Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM

Presented by the Don Dunstan Foundation.  Thanks to the generous support of major event partner Capital City Committee.
Thank you to Foundation’s major partners University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

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