Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Lifewise Big Sleepout brings hope to homeless

Aucklanders sleeping rough at Lifewise Big Sleepout bring hope to homeless - and break fundraising and participant record

Last night, 107 influential Aucklanders ‘slept rough’ at Auckland’s AUT campus, to experience a little of what it’s like, as they took a public stand against homelessness. This number was a record for the Big Sleepout event, which began in 2010, and took place during the most inclement of weather conditions.

With little more than a sleeping bag and a sheet of cardboard, participants were exposed to the elements and temperatures that reached only 6 degrees at midnight. “I think it was the coldest night that we’d had at a Big Sleepout in the 5 years that we’ve been doing this,” says Lesley Mynett-Johnson, Lifewise’s Communications and Fundraising Manager.

Not only about exposing what is often an invisible issue, Lifewise’s Big Sleepout is also one of the main events on the organisation’s fundraising calendar. The 2014 goal was to beat last year’s figure (of $152,000), which was well surpassed to achieve a total of $154,227.39 by breakfast. The website is open to receive donations throughout the rest of the month of July.

As well as vital fundraising, the night delivered on its promises to be informative and life changing, as participants heard from Nicola Atwool, Associate Professor for the Department of Sociology, Gender & Social Work at the University of Otago. Nicola talked about the challenges and possible outcomes for children who are in state care and the need to address the ‘gap year’ for 17 year olds who leave the system with limited or no transition and the inability to access housing, income support and the other resources they need. “It’s too young to expect people without family support to manage on their own.”

Performances from Waxed Poetic Revival and a heartbreaking account of her experiences by 22 year old, Chanelle Haffenden, spoke to the resilience of young people and bought tears to participants’ eyes, working to dispel many of
the myths that surround homelessness.

Moira Lawler, General Manager of Lifewise and Corie Haddock, Manager of the Crisis Response and Housing team, shared an insight into the evolution of the organisation’s ‘no bandaid’ approach to homelessness – from ‘working for’,

to ‘working with’ – and shared some of where the organisation is going next.

“We are continuing to expand and develop Lifewise’s services and we do believe that together, we can end homelessness. We’re starting to use our capacity to provide social housing to support young people to become independent and maintain their own tenancies.”

The Lifewise team were pleased with the event’s outcomes and would like to acknowledge the commitment of sponsors, including AUT. The relationship between AUT and Lifewise is broad and operates on a number of levels, with AUT providing professional development to Lifewise’s leadership team and Lifewise offering placements to AUT students. The AUT Hospitality School was also involved in the establishment of Lifewise’s community café, Merge.

AUT Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack “This event puts the spotlight on an issue for which all society is responsible for.

AUT has worked with Lifewise on projects assisting homeless people over several years. We are pleased to hold this year’s event once again at AUT City Campus”.

Dinner, catered by Merge, was served in the Whare Kai, underneath a slideshow that celebrated the 108 people that Lifewise has housed since last year’s event. A breakfast of baked beans and spaghetti on toast greeted weary participants early on the crisp morning.

-ENDS-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

State Sector: Government To Apply Pay Equity Principles

Legal changes are not yet in effect but the State Services Commission, on behalf of the government, and the Council of Trade Unions on behalf of unions, have agreed to apply the principles to current pay equity claims. More>>

ALSO:

Throwing Stoners: English Blames Failed Drug Tests For Unemployment

Bill English’s diversionary tactic of condemning of a generation of Kiwi workers as a bunch of drug-takers cannot hide his government’s failure to create opportunities for decent work, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news