As part of the Adelaide Zero Project, the Hutt St Centre led a team of skilled volunteers from more than 20 partner agencies in a two-day program aimed at connecting with every person sleeping rough in Adelaide’s CBD and North Adelaide.
The survey, conducted from May 14-16, identified 143 people sleeping rough, with nearly three quarters being men. A high proportion (28 per cent) were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and 29 per cent of those surveyed had been sleeping rough for more than two years.
Hutt St Centre’s chief operating officer Lynda Forrest said the survey also asked questions to determine the specific needs of each individual and identify the 50 ‘most vulnerable’.
“Of those 50, the first 16 have already been offered properties, which is great news,” she said.
The survey also revealed that 40 per cent of those sleeping rough were not connected to any services, so another positive outcome has been getting these people in touch with the relevant support.
“Hutt St Centre was really pleased to be part of this extensive outreach work and the ongoing Adelaide Zero Project,” Ms Forrest said.
The Adelaide Zero Project is aimed at achieving ‘zero homelessness’ in Adelaide by 2020. More than 35 organisations have committed to the project, which was initiated by the Don Dunstan Foundation last year and based on a similar model in the United States.
With the milder winter weather of late, Ms Forrest said Hutt St Centre’s services hadn’t been put under undue pressure as yet, however it had experienced a spike in the number of new clients each month.
“Usually we would expect 30 to 40 new clients in a month, but one month recently it was up to 70 clients,” she explained.
“It’s a bit of speculation, but we’ve been waiting for the impact of Holden’s closure so that might have been a contributing factor as people’s payouts run out.
“Through our Aspire program we are also noticing there is a high number of people with secondary and tertiary qualifications who are finding themselves homeless.
“Fortunately South Australia is really generous. Whether it’s giving a can of soup through to a $25,000 donation, our clients are always very grateful for their ongoing support.”
The Hutt St Centre’s annual Walk a Mile in My Boots will be held in Adelaide on Friday August 10. For more information or to register go to www.huttstcentre.org.au