Māori orgs getting homeless into iso-proof accomodation

By Tapatahi, Tepara Koti

Throughout the country, Māori organisations are working hard to house the homeless and move people living in homeless shelters and hostels into isolation-proof accommodation.

In Rotorua, Tiny Deane and his wife Lynley from Visions of a Helping Hand have housed nearly 200 people in motels since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  

They include mums and children and rough sleepers with complex issues such as drug and alcohol addiction.

Tiny Deane from Rotorua says on the ground, rough sleepers are saying there's a lot of confusion and disbelief that they are being looked after so well by the Government. 

He continues to say that even with the support from mental health services and providers like Visions of a Helping Hand, rough sleepers say circumstances are still "very hard".

Visions of a Helping Hand have helped approximately 200 homeless/rough sleepers relocate into motel accommodation. Deane says 100 are based in Rotorua, the rest including mums, children and whānau are based at three motels in Taupō.

In Te Tai Tokerau, One Double Five community house worked with other Māori groups to house over 50 homeless people including a 78-year-old who was living in a tent.

Richard Pehi from Whangārei says they are taking a joint approach with NGOs, Māori providers, DHBs and MSD opening doors to ensure homeless in their rohe as safe and in motels.

He says One Double Five is set up like a 'triage' who have helped 78 individuals and whānau find solutions outside of motels, and helped approximately 50 individuals/whānau into motels.