Adelaide Zero Project


Working to end street homelessness in Adelaide

"Speaking at the 2016 Conference, former Adelaide Thinker in Residence, Rosanne Haggerty, outlined how she viewed homelessness as a solvable problem that Adelaide is uniquely placed to solve. Rosanne issued a challenge to put in place a plan to end street homelessness and organisations from across the public, private, community and university sectors have collectively taken up that challenge."

"A broad coalition of more than 40 not-for-profits, government agencies, private organisations and service providers have come together to lead the charge for Adelaide to become the first city outside North America to implement an approach that has seen seven communities achieve Functional Zero homelessness for veterans, and three communities for chronically homeless people."

This is an amazing visionary project that aims to achieve functional zero homelessness in Adelaide. A big vision no doubt, but potentially doable. The background to this and Roseanne Haggerty's TED style talk about her research and experience the homeless sector is quite mind blowing.

Functional zero homelessness recognises that that at any one point in time, a certain percentage of individuals may be "between residences" and not actually homeless. Roseanne's approach shows success in previous areas by by mapping each homeless person by name and providing solutions that wrap around their story, rather than providing affordable housing and waiting for people to come to it. Well that's a very rough paraphase - but the story and evidence is inspiring. It turns an issue, "homelessness", into a a known sizeable achieveable goal. It looks at what the real barriers are, rather than providing generic solutions and wondering why people are still homeless. Roseanne's says to me, that its not about a lack of homes, its about how we support people to navigate the system into them. Yes, our well meaning systems, are keeping people out of homes...

Two things I would like to suggest:

  1. I encourage you to visit this inspiring project's website and think about how you might support it.
  2. Watch Roseanne's video and consider the takeaway messages about how we approach issues. Perhaps this way of thinking can be applied to an area in which you work? I'd love to hear about it - use the comments section to spark other peoples thoughts!


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