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Spreading the wet word

Downtown Community Ministry

Bulletin

18 October 2006

Spreading the wet word

The campaign for a wet hostel in Wellington will get an Auckland audience next month when Downtown Community Ministry Director Stephanie McIntyre speaks at a homelessness forum run by the Auckland City Council.

Promoted as Homelessness: everyone’s problem, no-one’s responsibility, the conference has an aim of sharing solutions and strategies with people working to prevent homelessness.

Two international speakers will address the forum: Rosanne Haggarty from New York, founder of the Common Ground Community – the largest developer of supportive housing in America; and, Fiona Caniglia of the Queensland Council of Social Services.

DCM offers a variety of strategies to address homelessness in Wellington. More recently we have proposed the development of a ‘wet hostel’ as an innovative model to support those with backgrounds of homelessness and chronic alcohol addiction.

Several organisations that include the Police, Capital Coast District Health Board, Wellington City Council and Housing New Zealand have joined DCM to progress the wet hostel proposal.

Wet hostels provide safe accommodation for chronic alcoholics who are or have previously experienced periods of homelessness. A harm reduction model is employed that allows but does not prohibit the consumption of alcohol. Health professionals monitor each clients managed daily intake.

Many of those experiencing homelessness and chronic alcohol addiction are likely to have experienced exclusion and high levels of vulnerability, wet hostels promote dignity in each resident by creating a safe environment for them to make healthy decisions about their own lifestyle.

The forum will be held in the Auckland town hall on the 27th of November starting at 9am and while registrations have officially closed, they are on a first come basis so places may still be available.

ENDS

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