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Support For Auckland's Homeless This Christmas

13 December, 2005

Methodist Mission Northern calls for support for Auckland's homeless this Christmas

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Chef and owner of Vinnie's restaurant, Geoff Scott (far right), volunteers to cook for the homeless people attending the Airedale Community Centre Christmas Lunch on Monday 12 December.

With the number of homeless people continuing to rise in this city, as well as in smaller communities across the country, Auckland's Methodist Mission, based on Queen Street, stresses the need for more community support than ever this Christmas.

For more than 150 years, Methodist Mission Northern has been an integral part of Auckland City, addressing issues of social injustices and working with those in the community who are affected by the many facets of poverty. Meeting the basic day-to-day needs of Auckland's homeless people remains the Mission's core work at its Airedale Community Centre (see next page for details).

Keith Taylor, Methodist Mission Northern's Superintendent, says demand for meals at its Airedale Community Centre has increased by 15 per cent in the latter half of 2005.

"Whereas a year ago we were providing around 36,000 meals per annum - which is three meals a day, over the past few months this has increased to over 43,000 meals being served by our volunteer workers," he says.

With such a significant increase in the number of homeless people, help from the community (in the form of donations) is more important than ever for Methodist Mission Northern to be able to continue to meet the basic needs of Auckland's homeless community.

Mr Taylor adds that the perception of a homeless person as being an older male who 'chooses' to live on the streets is now far from reality.

"Many people believe that the homeless choose to live on the streets, however all our experience indicates that this is rarely the case. We continue to witness growing numbers of homeless people who have come from abusive homes or have mental health issues and addictions that determine their fate."

Financial, food and clothing donations are welcomed by Methodist Mission Northern to help provide for Auckland's homeless community this Christmas and give them hope for a brighter future.

To make a donation or for more information about Methodist Mission Northern visit www.mmn.org.nz


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