14 Oct 2008

Charities join forces to help homeless

5:58 pm on 14 October 2008

Three Auckland homeless charities have joined forces to create a strategy to help get rough sleepers off the street.

They hope it will provide a blueprint for Government to create its first national homeless strategy.

John McCarthy, the general manager of Lifewise, the community and social services division of the Methodist Mission, says it is not about hiding homelessness.

Mr McCarthy says at the moment, people are simply being maintained in their homelessness through relief services.

The charities and council want more co-ordination of efforts and for each homeless person to be given a pathway into supported housing.

Funding sought in Whangarei

The Salvation Army is applying for funding from Housing New Zealand to research the needs of homeless people in Whangarei.

Churches say many people with no roof over their heads do not show up in official figures.

The Salvation Army says there is a shortage of emergency housing in Whangarei and most people on benefits cannot manage the high rents in the city.

If funding is granted, the church will conduct a feasibility study on a halfway house to help single men.