About 250 rough sleepers in South Australia have found homes under a state government program to help keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $7.3 million initiative included $5.9 million to fund short-term motel accommodation and support services, as well as funding for staff and to temporarily house Aboriginal rough sleepers from remote communities.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said to get so many people off the street so quickly and into a longer-term accommodation was a remarkable achievement.

“While South Australians were in motels, it gave support services an unprecedented opportunity to work with a large number of people to help them stabilise their lives and support them to move into accommodation, rather than risk returning to the streets,” she said.

Among those to find permanent shelter, 182 people have been provided with public housing properties, eight are in community housing and 60 are in other accommodation such as boarding houses or private rental homes.