Action Plan to Tackle Homelessness in Wellington

30 May 2012

Members of the homeless community joined Wellington City Council's homelessness 'lock-in' meeting yesterday, where a mix of social and government agencies in Wellington came up with an action plan to tackle homelessness.

Information was gathered throughout the day that will result in an action plan. The detail still needs to be formalised, but actions include:

  • establishing a steering group to provide leadership on the issue - they will meet in the next fortnight
  • developing an information database that can be accessed by all providers
  • investigating the possibility of 'navigators' - people whose role is to help vulnerable people every step of the way through the services they need
  • developing a housing strategy to be completed in the next year
  • starting cross-sector case-management meetings
  • having the Department of Corrections and community-based groups working together well before a prisoner is released. The same will likely be applied to people leaving mental health institutions.

The Council's Social Portfolio Leader, Councillor Stephanie Cook, welcomed attendees to the summit this morning.

"It was wonderful to look across a room of what looked like almost 100 representatives from government and community organisations - many of whom only ever really get to meet to discuss things like funding - and get a taste of the enthusiasm to really make a difference," says Cr Cook.

Recurring themes throughout the day included putting a client-centred approach over everything - sometimes even organisational values, the need for strategic leadership for Wellington, and working together better to share information and resources.

"There needs to be more clarity over who does what at a social services level, from housing to crisis intervention or from mental health to probation services. I can't imagine what it's like for vulnerable people to try and navigate their way through all the information out there and find the service they need."

Once the action plan has been formalised, a draft homelessness policy will be brought back to the Council's Strategy and Policy Committee.