Street counts

Help us monitor progress and develop responses to reduce the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in the local area.

Related to Homelessness

Street counts aim to collect accurate and up-to-date information about the number of people sleeping rough in the local area. Occupied 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.

When and why we do this

The yearly City of Sydney street count takes place in February, the same time as the state street count, coordinated by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. This timing provides a state-wide assessment of strategies and responses to reduce homelessness.

Before 2022, our street counts were conducted twice a year in February and August. Due to Covid restrictions and impacts, the August counts did not proceed in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Each count relies on the goodwill and participation of more than 180 volunteers. We seek the advice of people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness in the past. To date, 50 different individuals with lived experience of homelessness have advised and assisted us in multiple street counts.

Our homelessness unit develops responses to homelessness according to need. Street count 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 our homelessness strategy, the street counts also help to monitor the progress of our organisation and 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's an important one.

Results of recent street counts

  • These tables show results of recent counts, which covered about two-thirds of the local area.
  • Around 180 volunteers, including 18 advisors, participated in each street count.
  • 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.


Date People sleeping rough Occupied crisis and temporary accommodation beds
February 2017 433 489
August 2017 386 600
February 2018 329 495
August 2018 278 495
February 2019 373 522
August 2019 254 592
February 2020 334 505
August 2020 Count did not take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.
February 2021 272 288
August 2021 Count did not take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.
February 2022  225  269
 August 2022  Count did not take place due to impacts of Covid-19.
 February 2023  277  272
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