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How You Can Help the Homeless

How You Can Help the Homeless

At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn more about this pressing issue and how they can get involved.

New Zealand Statistics defines homelessness as people living ‘without shelter, people in temporary accommodation, people sharing accommodation and people in uninhabitable housing’. ‘Rough sleeping’ is the term used to describe the most challenging physical experience of homelessness.

Freyberg Square in the CBD will see performances and exhibitions created by the homeless community as well as information from Auckland’s core agencies to raise public awareness and highlight the services available to rough sleepers. There will be a “Street Cook-Off” judged by an internationally acclaimed chef starting at 12pm.

There are several agencies who work to support people experiencing homelessness to move into long-term permanent accommodation by concentrating on prevention, intervention and integration. These agencies include The Ministry of Social Development, Auckland City Mission, Lifewise, The Salvation Army, New Beginnings Court and Housing New Zealand.

Furthering the initiatives of these agencies is the Auckland Homelessness Steering Group which represents thirteen government and non-government organisations. The goal of this initiative, called the Homeless Taskforce Working Group, is to strengthen the approach of the agencies involved to benefit rough sleepers and reduce homelessness in Auckland.

Homelessness is an issue that affects the entire community and requires a unified response, not just from social service agencies but from an understanding and compassionate public. World Homeless Day will give the public the opportunity to learn how to get involved in ending homelessness on a local level through information available from the agencies present on the day.

World Homeless Day is a great chance for the public to learn more about the relevant issues and promote community solidarity by showing their support for the homeless and raising public awareness of homelessness. The event at Freyberg Square, High Street, officially begins at 10am, finishing at 3pm.

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