News | 12 October 2017

Council supports sleepover to address homelessness

This weekend, Wellington City Council will be supporting the 14 Hours Homeless event to help raise funds while shining a light on the plight of the one in 100 Kiwis currently homeless in New Zealand.

From 6pm Friday to 8am Saturday, 14 Hours Homeless will see people around the country experience homelessness by sleeping in a car, on a couch or in a cardboard box – and Mayor Justin Lester, Social Development portfolio lead Councillor Brian Dawson, former Deputy Mayor MP Paul Eagle, and our Local Hosts will all be involved.

Mayor Lester, who will be talking at a community sleepover event at Mt Cook School on Saturday morning, says a collaborative approach is needed to make a difference. 

“The current housing situation has put more pressure on our most vulnerable residents, making it harder for them to secure and sustain proper accommodation.  

“But the Te Mahana homeless strategy means we're working with government agencies and non-profit organisations on ways to come up with long-term solutions with a united approach – we don’t just want to manage homelessness, we want to end it. That’s why we’re investing in more social housing and working to build the country’s first wet house – Te Whare Oki Oki,” adds the Mayor.

According to Council’s Local Hosts and Outreach teams, rough sleepers in Wellington is estimated to be around 40 – and this number needs to be tackled head on, says Councillor Dawson, who will be leading a reflection on Friday night at the sleepover event.

“There is amazing work being done by groups around the city like The Compassion Soup Kitchen; Salvation Army; Wellington City Mission; the Night Shelter; and the Women’s House, who have joined together for the fourth year running to address the problem.

“Community members have also been invited to join together and participate in a sleepover event at Mt Cook School, which will involve visits to those agencies and tours of the city with our Local Hosts to get an idea of life on the streets,” says Councillor Dawson.

Visit the 14 Hours Homeless website for more information, and find out how you can get involved.