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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

City homelessness numbers heading in the right direction

2015-03-16

The latest rough sleeper count has recorded a modest reduction in the number of people sleeping rough in the city.

Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said the latest count found 77 people who were sleeping rough, down from 81 in the previous count.

"The positive thing is we continue to see a downward trend in the number of people detected sleeping rough," Ms Bettison said.

"This latest count recorded 18 fewer people living rough compared to May last year when there was a spike of 95 people.

Ms Bettison said the counts aim to monitor the number of people sleeping rough in the Adelaide inner city area, as well as provide information about the circumstances and profile of that population.

Estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have shown a 41% drop in the number of people sleeping rough in South Australia, down from 436 in 2006 to 258 in 2011. This compares to a 6% decrease across Australia.

The latest Inner City Rough Sleeper Street Count was conducted on 3 February, 2015. It was the 18th such count to be conducted in Adelaide.

The counts are a partnership between the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion and 13 key inner city homeless services from eight different organisations.

"On the day of the count, staff visited the parklands and areas around the city to locate people sleeping out," Ms Bettison said.

"Workers at homelessness services also approached people attending that day to find if they had slept rough, and, if so, they were asked if they wanted to take part in the count."

The first rough sleeper street count was conducted in June 2007, when 108 people indicated they had been sleeping rough.

It was decided in 2012 to increase the survey's frequency by holding an additional count in summer. This included increasing the collection points by approaching additional inner city homelessness services to collect data.

The next count is due to be held in May.

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28 Oct 2016
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