Street count

Registrations open

The next street count takes place on Tuesday 2 August 2016. Register now.

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.

One of the goals outlined in the state government’s homelessness action plan, released in 2009, is to reduce the number of rough sleepers by 25% by 2013. The City is committed to working with government and community partners to reach this goal in the local area.

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

We do bi-annual counts of rough sleepers to gauge our progress towards reducing homelessness in the City of Sydney. 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.                       

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

*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: Friday, 24 June 2016