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'No Fixed Abode' directory for the homeless

17 November 2005

'No Fixed Abode' directory for the homeless to launch

A new directory of Christchurch accommodations and services for people without safe, secure and affordable housing will be launched this Friday at the National Housing Forum Conference at the Cashmere Club.

The directory was created after homelessness was highlighted as an issue in January this year following a fire that gutted the abandoned Cashel Chambers building. Initially, there were fears that a number of young people, living in the building at the time, could have been killed.

In response, Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore, and Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett, held two public meetings to discuss issues surrounding homelessness in the city.

A Homelessness Task Group was set up at the first of these meetings to look into the issues of homelessness in the city. The group comprises staff from the Salvation Army, the Christchurch City Mission, the Christchurch Methodist Mission, the Inner City Interagency Trust and the City Council. In April, the group released a report analysing homelessness in its broader context. Being homeless was defined more broadly than simply not having a roof over one's head - but rather as a lack of safe, secure and affordable housing.

One recommendation made by the group was that a directory of Christchurch's accommodations and services be developed, to assist agencies in referring people of no fixed abode to appropriate organisations. The City Council has since compiled the directory of 238 entries which reflects the wide range of community organisations providing these accommodations and services.

"It is important that agencies have access to this information to be able to help those who may be affected by homelessness," Mr Moore says. "As a city we have a responsibility to ensure everybody has a safe bed."

The 'No Fixed Abode' directory will be available from the Council as a free booklet and will also be available on the Council's website, through CINCH - the online Community Information Service.

ENDS

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