Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Shelter Gives Homeless Women a Safe Place to Sleep This Winter


This winter, some of Auckland’s homeless women will have a warm, safe place to sleep. The Auckland City Mission’s Te Whare Manaaki Wāhine women’s shelter provides safe, welcoming, and temporary accommodation for women starting from Sunday 1 July.

With construction on the City Mission’s new Mission HomeGround redevelopment due to start in October, the detox services based at their Federal Street facility in central Auckland have shifted – and the Mission saw an opportunity to provide for an urgent need.

“The Prime Minister put out a call asking for Aotearoa to help the homeless over winter, and we took that quite seriously,” Helen Robinson, GM – Social Services explains. “One of our buildings would have been empty for three months while we prepare for construction on the site, and we are utilising that space as a 10-bed night shelter for women. Te Whare Manaaki Wāhine, which means ‘house of hospitality for women’, will on a night-by-night basis provide food, a warm bed, a shower, laundry facilities, and support services where appropriate.

“Because of this opportunity, there will be 10 less vulnerable women sleeping on the streets each night this winter.”

Helen explains that for women and transgender women sleeping rough, their risk of experiencing violence is overwhelmingly high. “With the creation of Te Whare Manaaki Wāhine, we are claiming a space for women by women, which is safe and trauma-informed. Our staff are all female, including female security guards.”
The Auckland City Street Count, which counts the number of rough sleepers within 3km of the Sky Tower, recorded 45 women sleeping on the street in the last count in 2016 – up from 31 in 2014. The City Mission expects that in reality, the numbers of women sleeping rough this winter are even higher.
One of the City Mission’s clients, a 32-year-old woman named Moana, has been on the streets for three years. “The women’s shelter is a really good idea,” she says. “Last year I was so cold all winter, even though I had a good sleeping bag. Sleeping outside in all kinds of weather is hard on the body and soul.”

It is bodies and souls that Te Whare Manaaki Wāhine aims to heal over the three months it will be open, with one of its overarching aims being to provide an opportunity for women in need. “It’s about responding to the immediate needs, and in winter and every night here in Auckland, there are many needs for women. If it's just a bed for the night and a shower and some food, then we’ll have achieved our goal,” Helen says. “But it is also about providing opportunity for further conversations with very vulnerable women, and for sustained, long-term pathways to wellbeing.”

The Mission is part of the Auckland Housing First collective and works in partnership with fellow social services agency Lifewise to provide the Housing First programme in central Auckland. The Mission sees the Housing First model, which provides permanent supportive housing, as the best approach to providing homes for the homeless. However, Housing First also recognise that emergency housing plays an important role in the housing continuum for some people before they are able to enter a Housing First programme or before permanent housing is available.

Providing a temporary shelter for inner city homeless women over winter is both a compassionate response to an immediate urgent need and also an opportunity to provide initial assessments for further response to complex needs. The Mission along with their partners is committed to finding the best ways to respond to urgent emergency needs as well as looking for long-term solutions.

Over 80% of the City Mission’s services are funded through donations, and year-round, they provide emergency food assistance, low-cost health care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, outreach support for rough sleepers, support for isolated elderly people, an activities programme and community centre for central Auckland’s homeless population, and a Crisis Care service for low-income individuals and families.

The Mission is currently running their mid-year fundraising drive and donations to their Winter Appeal can be made at aucklandcitymission.org.nz or by calling the City Mission on 09 303 9200.

Te Whare Manaaki Wāhine opened on Sunday 1 July and will remain open until 30 September.
It will provide a 10-bed, night-by-night shelter for women and those who identify as women (ie, transgender women).
Each woman who stays at Te Whare Manaaki Wāhine will be provided with food, a warm bed, a shower, laundry facilities, and support services where appropriate.
Please donate to the City Mission’s Winter Appeal today at aucklandcitymission.org.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Risk Of Being Short Changed By Pfizer

Who knew that the delivery of the Covid vaccines was going to be such a headache? All the predictions had been around the likely distribution problems. Would there be enough trained vaccinators around the country, a sufficient number of medical glass vials, a sufficiently robust “cold chain” to safely store the vaccines out in the field? All those issues remain. Currently though, production and delivery concerns are also hovering over whether the drug companies will live up to their contractual commitments, on time... More>>


National: Leader Of The Opposition’s State Of The Nation Speech

Kia ora and thank you for that welcome. It is a pleasure to be here. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Auckland and the EMA for hosting me at this first event in your centenary year. National and Rotary share many common principles, including community ... More>>


Ministry Of Health: Probable Case Of COVID-19 In A Returnee

The Ministry of Health is investigating a positive test result in a person who recently travelled from overseas and completed their stay in managed isolation in a facility in Auckland. In the case we are investigating and reporting today, the person had ... More>>


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>


USA: Prime Minister Congratulates President Joe Biden On His Inauguration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter ... More>>


Government: New Zealand And China Sign FTA Upgrade

Trade Ministers for New Zealand and China today signed an upgrade to the free trade agreement between the two countries. “This modernises our free trade agreement and ensures it will remain fit for purpose for another decade,” Minister for Trade ... More>>

Oxfam NZ: Wealth Of New Zealand’s Richest Person’s Soars By $3.4bn Since Beginning Of Pandemic

New Zealand’s richest citizen, Graeme Hart, has seen his fortune increase by NZ$3,494,333,333 since March 2020 – a sum equivalent to over half a million New Zealanders receiving a cheque for NZ$6,849 each, reveals a new analysis from Oxfam today. The New Zealand ... More>>


Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>





InfoPages News Channels