Street count

Registrations closed

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.

Street counts take place in February and August every year. 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.

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. These tables show 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
February 2010 418 470
August 2010 289 541
February 2011 363 477
August 2011 307 448
February 2012 310 451
August 2012 246 456
February 2013 274 463
August 2013 255 471
February 2014 346 446
August 2014 296 421
February 2015 365 462
August 2015 352 476
February 2016 486 404
August 2016 394 417
Date People sleeping rough Occupied crisis and temporary accommodation beds
February 2017
August 2017
February 2018
August 2018
February 2019
August 2019 254 592
February 2020 334 505

The methods we use to conduct the street count have been adapted and refined in consultation with people with lived experience of homelessness to ensure sensitivity and accuracy.

Downloads Document Downloads
Volunteer manual PDF 1.6 MB Download

Request an accessible format

Last updated: Thursday, 27 February 2020