Strategy to End Homelessness Endorsed

11 April 2014

Wellington City Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee has today endorsed Te Mahana – a strategy to end homelessness in Wellington.

A community-led strategy, Te Mahana emerged from a day-long practitioner ‘lock-in’ in May 2012. More than 100 people representing government agencies and community organisations, along with people experiencing homelessness, identified key actions for a collaborative and co-ordinated approach to ending homelessness.

Mayor Celia Wade Brown says she is delighted the Council is taking a lead to coordinate the agencies and organisations dealing with homelessness. “Together we can solve homelessness in the Capital."

She says committee members today also called for more commitment from the Government to deal with homelessness and related social problems in a coordinated and effective way – and not just in Wellington.

“As Nance Thomson from the Soup Kitchen said in a message read to the committee, ‘The kaupapa of Te Mahana is a framework on which to build a national response to homelessness and thus we need to make it count. To have the Council lead by example by being the first to sign up would send a strong message to NGOs and Government departments alike.’”

The Committee’s Chair, Councillor Paul Eagle, says Te Mahana will address issues in a more systematic way, putting people experiencing homelessness at the centre of service–delivery solutions.

“Te Mahana pulls the sector in Wellington together under a unique governance arrangement – in partnership with Maori who are currently over-represented – to deliver outcomes guided by a set of principles such as housing being a basic human right.”

He also challenged the Government to not only endorse the strategy but provide stronger leadership and resource Wellington’s issues better.

“The message is clear, we’re taking homelessness seriously but we need Central Government to step up and ensure the relevant agencies have the necessary resources to deliver the transformation we’re seeking.”

Organisations involved in this initiative include several church-run, community and Maori social service agencies, NGOs and government agencies.

A strategic co-ordination group for government agencies working on social issues in Wellington will further consider and endorse the work.

A copy of the report is available here: Te Mahana (4MB PDF)