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City looks to New York for homeless solutions

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE


16 November 2006


City looks to New York for homeless solutions

Auckland City will host its second national homelessness forum later this month to encourage discussion and advance international strategies for dealing with the issue.

Homelessness: Everyone's problem, no-one's responsibility - sharing of solutions and strategies, is the theme of the forum to be held on 27 November 2006.

The 200 delegates attending the forum will have the opportunity to hear from international authority, New Yorker Rosanne Haggerty, who will talk about her experience of dealing with homelessness in New York City and more recently in Adelaide.

“We want to highlight issues and trends about homelessness. We will hear first-hand examples about how other cities are responding to homelessness. Professionals and volunteers working in this area are participating to learn from each other, share experiences and strategise for the future,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, chairperson of the Community Development and Equity Committee.

“We are extremely privileged to have experts of Rosanne’s calibre speaking at the forum. It will give us a much-needed international perspective to the issues we face here in New Zealand especially considering Auckland will be on the world stage in 2011,” says Dr Casey.

Ms Haggerty is the founder and president of Common Ground Community – a New York City based organisation dedicated to solving homelessness. Common Ground has created a range of pioneering housing programmes that reduce homelessness and support people to become part of mainstream communities. These programmes have also been replicated throughout Britain, Canada, Japan and Australia.

“We need to hear what other cities have done and learn what has been successful and why. Then we can look at what is relevant and what can be applied to Auckland,” says Dr Casey.

Fiona Caniglia, from the Queensland Council of Social Services, will also be speaking about how Brisbane has responded to homelessness. Insights and ideas will also be shared by local speakers Stephanie McIntyre, Lucy Chamberlain, Clare Aspinall and Debbie Hager.

The forum will take place on 27 November 2006 from 9am to 4pm at the Auckland Town Hall, Queen Street, central city.

The following day, Rosanne Haggerty is conducting a training session with a smaller group of homeless practitioners entitled “Moving long-term homeless directly from the streets into housing: Setting up an effective street outreach and housing placement programme”.

The forum follows on the success of last year’s Sleeping rough in New Zealand forum and is a part of Auckland City’s homeless action plan which can be viewed at http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/documents/homeless/default.asp

ENDS

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