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Homeless haunt gets million dollar makeover



Homeless haunt gets million dollar makeover

Glover Park was reopened this morning after refurbishments started nine months ago to increase public use and safety were completed.

The Park has long been a focus of attention with nearby retailers complaining that social drinkers, who gathered in the park, were making “trouble” in the area.

Its new design has increased both natural and artificial lighting; created clear walkways and generally “opened” the park up.

However, the 1.2million cost to upgrade the park could be in vain according to Stephanie McIntyre, Director of Downtown Community Ministry.

She says, “those people who used to live and socialise in the park, many of whom are clients of ours, still can’t access appropriate accommodation.

“Project Margin (a council funded pilot to address homelessness) has exposed gaps in how Wellington responds to chronic alcoholics and clearly demonstrates this group still has unmet needs that have not been addressed.”

Stephanie says that the residents of Glover Park are typical of many in the street community.

“Many are chronic alcoholics and in their state it is near impossible for them to hold down stable accommodation,” she says.

She refers to a New Zealand Herald article last Saturday that told the story of a former resident of Glover Park, and housed by DCM, who has only now had an official alcohol and drug assessment 24 years after his first alcohol related court appearance.

“It is people like that who are marginalised all the time,” she says.

Stephanie is campaigning hard for an innovative solution, as yet untried in New Zealand but common in the UK, called a “wet hostel”.

Simply, it is a residential home of 8 to 12 beds where alcohol is tolerated, but controlled and where clients live in a clean, healthy environment with regular meals and access to professional staff and services.


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