Adelaide CBD to track number of homeless

An ambitious program in Adelaide will attempt to track the number of homeless in real time and bring the number to zero by 2020.

Adelaide may soon have a website to track the number of people sleeping rough in real time.

Charity group the Don Dunstan Foundation is looking at ways of better tracking homelessness in the city to increase awareness of the issue, target assistance and check if efforts to reduce the number on the streets is being reduced.

While it still has to work out the technical details, it believes it can develop a "dashboard" that would provide the information as "close to real time as possible".

"We want to get to a point where we can create a website that has the number of people who are sleeping rough on the street on any given night live," Foundation executive director David Pearson said.

"So you can know as close to real-time as possible that it is minus two tonight and there are 17 people sleeping rough."

Currently, rough sleepers in the CBD are counted four times a year and there is sometimes a delay in getting the data out once collected, he added.

Tracking the number of rough sleepers is a key part of the Zero Project, a strategy developed by the Institute of Global Homelessness.

It wants to achieve "functional zero" homelessness, ensuring the number of people sleeping rough on any given night in the city is no greater than the housing available.

"Homelessness is a global challenge but it an eminently solvable problem. Seven communities in the United States have achieved a functional end to homelessness," Institute spokesman Dame Louise Casey said.

"But homelessness is rising across the globe, it is rising in Australia and it is rising here in the city of Adelaide."

The Don Dunstan Foundation, the South Australian government and the Adelaide City Council signed onto the Zero Project on Friday.

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