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Mayor lunches with homeless at Methodist Mission

22 June 2005

Auckland Mayor lunches with homeless at Methodist Mission

Mayor of Auckland, the Hon. Dick Hubbard, council members and officials joined Mission workers and their clientele at the central city Methodist Mission Northern for lunch on Monday.

Councillor Dr Cathy Casey initiated the visit, which follows the success of last week's National Homeless Forum.

The national forum brought together representatives of agencies working with homeless people from across New Zealand, and resolved to establish a national body to lobby for policy and law changes.

"Visits such as this are very heartening, and prove that the Council is being proactive in addressing the dire situation faced by the city's homeless people,'' says Methodist Mission Development Manager, Lesley Mynett-Johnson. "Recent research has proven there are significant gaps in services for Auckland's homeless citizens. At the Mission we provide the best support we can for homeless and marginalised people, but unfortunately there is a limit to our resources."

Mr Hubbard reinforced this message when he addressed the group at the Methodist Mission.

"Regardless of their background or situation, every Aucklander is equally important and has the same right to have their voice heard, and needs addressed."

The lunch at the Methodist Mission's centre on Airedale Street gave the mayor and councillors a chance to discuss with the Mission's clientele the issues raised by the research and last week's forum, in an informal setting.

The council is proposing spending $135,000 in the next three years to implement a homeless action plan.

ENDS

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