Street count

Registrations are now closed

We thank you for your interest in the February 2017 street count. 

Our next street count will take place in August 2017. This page will be updated when registration for volunteers open.

A key part of addressing homelessness

Street counts aim to collect accurate and up-to-date information about the number of people sleeping rough in the local area. People occupying beds in temporary shelters and homelessness hostels are also counted. 

People living in boarding houses, staying with friends or living in other forms of non-secure housing are not counted. No information regarding the specific location of rough sleepers is published.

Two street counts take place in February and August every year, between the hours of 1am and 3am. Each count relies on the goodwill and participation of more than 150 volunteers.

The City of Sydney actively seeks the advice of people who are currently homeless or have experienced homelessness in the past. To date the City has worked with 50 different individuals with lived experience of homelessness to advise and assist us in the implementation of  multiple street counts.

Street counts assist the City’s homelessness unit to develop responses to homelessness according to need. Results are regularly used to advocate to state and federal governments, along with potential partners, for the resources necessary to achieve enduring solutions to homelessness.  

A key part of the City’s homelessness strategy, the street counts also help to monitor the progress of the City and its partners in reducing the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in the local area.

Counting the numbers of people experiencing primary homelessness is only 1 method of collecting data but it is an important one.

Volunteer registrations open about 6 weeks prior to the count. Please contact the City’s homelessness unit for more information.

The results of recent street counts are available in the table below. The street count volunteer manual is also available to download below.


Homelessness Project Coordinator02 9265 9667

Street counts

Twice a year we count rough sleepers to gauge our progress towards reducing homelessness in the City of Sydney's local area. This table shows results of recent counts, which covered about two-thirds of the local area. Approximately 180 volunteers, including 18 advisors, participated in each street count.

Date Rough sleepers Occupied hostel beds Total
February 2010 418 470 888
August 2010 289 541 830
February 2011 363 477 840
August 2011 307 448 755
February 2012 310 451 761
August 2012 246 456 702
February 2013 274 463 737
August 2013 255 471 726
February 2014 346 446 792
August 2014 296 421 717
February 2015 365 462 827
August 2015 352 476 828
February 2016 486 404* 890
August 2016 394 417 813

*Please note: On the night of the February 2016 count, hostel beds were at 98% capacity. There were 9 crisis accommodation hostels with a minimum of 414 beds operating in the City of Sydney local area. Some hostels are made up of studios and units, which can accommodate couples and families. Therefore, the numbers of people who can be accommodated can vary depending on the residents present.

Downloads Document Downloads
Volunteer manual PDF 1.3 MB Download

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Last updated: Monday, 6 February 2017