10 Jun 2017

More steps taken toward NZ's first 'wet house'

6:21 pm on 10 June 2017

Wellington's mayor believes he has found the right place to set up the country's first wet house for alcoholics and drug addicts.

Wellington mayor Justin Lester

Wellington mayor Justin Lester Photo: RNZ / Aaron Smale

A wet house is a residential facility where alcoholics can continue to drink but get help with rehabilitation while not being out on the streets.

Justin Lester, who launched the proposal during his campaign last year, said a 14-bed facility in the CBD should be confirmed within a few months.

He said up to 55 people sleep rough in the city most weeks.

"We'd take those that are most at need and already we know who those individuals are and then we would have support staff that would be there to get them to try and moderate alcohol intake or drug or substance abuse.

"We'd also work with them to try and get them into some training - the ideal situation is to get them back to a state where they can work."

Mr Lester said the council would need government and community help if the project was to work.

In 2009, a similar proposal for an eight-bed facility in Island Bay was scuppered in the face of huge community opposition coupled with funding problems.

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