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Wellingtonians hit the streets to combat homelessness


For immediate release

— Wellington, Monday 2 October 2017

Wellingtonians hit the streets to combat homelessness

With levels of homelessness showing no signs of slowing in Wellington ordinary Wellingtonians are being challenged to give up their beds to help combat the crisis.

The Compassion Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, Wellington City Mission, Wellington Night Shelter and Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust, supported by Wellington City Council and Wellington Women’s House, have joined together again for the fourth annual event raising money for projects helping tackle homelessness in Wellington.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and City Councillor Andy Foster will also be speaking at the event.

The organisers are calling on people to join co-workers, friends and family to seek sponsorship to spend 14 hours sleeping outside on cardboard, on couches or in cars.

Compassion Soup Kitchen manager Karen Holland says housing deprivation remains a big problem in Wellington.

“There’s a lot of work being done, but the numbers aren’t changing."

Those seeking help from The Soup Kitchen and other agencies involved in 14 Hours Homeless aren’t just rough sleepers. It includes people in emergency accommodation, shelters and boarding houses, over-crowded homes and places without basic amenities.

With rising rent and food prices it’s common for The Soup Kitchen to see people on minimum wage who are struggling to get by, or people on benefits who have little left after rent.

In the face of this, 14 Hours Homeless is a chance for people to learn about the challenges faced by people without a warm and dry home. Those who take part are able to make a real difference to people’s lives by raising funds that will help the work of agencies who reach out to Wellingtonians who find themselves homeless.

For the people who receive this support, even the simplest things can make a huge difference, Karen says.

“For the people who come to us, to have a nutritious meal is really important. But it’s more than just food, people need a sense of belonging so they come here for community, to share in purposeful activities to be treated with dignity and respect."

For enquires about registering for the event please go to www.14hourshomeless.org.nz/event/Wellington

More Info:

- Analysis of the 2013 census by the University of Otago showed that 41,000 people (approximately one in 100) were living in severe housing deprivation in New Zealand. This number has almost certainly increased.

- More than half were families with children.

- 52% of homeless adults were working, studying or both.

- 51% of homeless Kiwis were under the age of 25.

© Scoop Media

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