World Homeless Day offers a new direction

By Jessica Tyson

Today is World Homeless Day and this year’s theme is Ngā Huarahi - Pathways, sharing the message that there are many pathways provided by services to help those at risk.

Events are being held around the country to raise awareness, including one hosted by Te Puni Kōkiri in Manukau, which includes performances, activities, food and a celebrity cook-off.

Auckland's Homeless Count announced yesterday that around 800 people are currently living without shelter across the region.

Mayor Phill Goff says the goal of the count is to end homelessness, "not just manage it". 

“800 people sleeping rough in Auckland is 800 too many.  Add to that another 2,874 in temporary or emergency accommodation and we’re looking at thousands of adults and children without a safe, secure, warm home to live in."

When used alongside other data sources and research, the findings will provide council, government and NGOs with a better understanding of the size and nature of homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau and will assist in informing policy and planning to end homelessness.

“The Homeless Count will significantly improve our understanding of the shape and scale of homelessness in Auckland and ensure effective services can help get people off the street, out of cars and into homes," says Goff.

An event full of diversity with activities, information, performance and food is also being hosted at Aotea Square in Auckland Central today.