A new initiative is aiming to bring homelessness in Adelaide down to zero, Pro Bono News reports.
The Zero Project, launched by the Don Dunstan Foundation, is targeting rough sleeping in Adelaide’s CBD in a bid to achieve functional zero homelessness – where the number of homeless people on any given night is no greater than the housing placement availability.
The approach focuses on the need for housing supply to match demand in the short term, and in the longer term, puts the focus on support services being in place to help people sustain housing.
It marks the first time a city outside the US has implemented the initiative which is being rolled out across a network of 75 US communities.
Don Dunstan Foundation executive director David Pearson told Pro Bono News the foundation had a proud history of engaging with homelessness issues, and functional zero sat within the ambitions for the city.
“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,” Pearson said.
“If we want to be a carbon neutral city, a smart city and a city of live music, then surely we can also be a city that provides a place to call home for our most vulnerable – those sleeping on the streets.”
Pearson said the idea was sparked by a speech given by former Thinker in Residence, Roseanne Haggerty at the foundation’s 2016 Homelessness Conference.
“She just gave a really powerful kind of call to action and challenged us as a community to get our collective act in order to deal with the problem,” he said.
The project has since attracted partners from the community, public and university sectors to work towards functional zero homelessness in Adelaide, with Bendigo Bank coming on board as the principal partner.
Pearson said collaboration was fundamental to the project.