Rough sleep­ers get ex­tra layer

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATRIN OWEN

One hun­dred rough sleep­ers now have an ex­tra layer to keep them warm for the chilly win­ter months ahead.

The Catholic Church in Auck­land was gifted high qual­ity coats to dis­trib­ute to the city’s home­less by the Sov­er­eign Or­der of Malta.

‘‘It started over a lunch time con­ver­sa­tion with one of the mem­bers of the Or­der of Malta who was vis­it­ing Auck­land from Syd­ney,’’ says Lyn­d­say Freer from the Catholic Dio­cese of Auck­land.

‘‘He was dis­turbed to hear of the ex­tent of home­less­ness here and be­cause they have con­structed some thou­sands of coats in Aus­tralia, he de­cided to send some to us.’’

James Lis­ton Hos­tel in Free­mans Bay pro­vides emer­gency hous­ing to those in need and opens its doors for the home­less to be able ac­cess show­ers.

The hos­tel was gifted 24 coats to dis­trib­ute and man­ager Char­lotte Ama says they were all grate­ful.

‘‘We’ve given them out to the rough sleep­ers when they came in to ac­cess our show­ers,’’ she says.

‘‘They are handy the way they are made as they’ve got vel­cro and pock­ets for them to store stuff and the weather has been quite cold re­cently.’’

The Auck­land City mis­sion’s lat­est street count in May found more than 177 peo­ple were sleep­ing rough within a 3km ra­dius of the Sky Tower and rough sleep­ers usu­ally in­crease over win­ter.

The parish priest of St Pat- rick’s Cathe­dral, Mon­signor Bernard Kiely is de­lighted to be able to give warm, qual­ity coats to the home­less.

‘‘The coats are so warm and light­weight, with in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal pock­ets to take a per­son’s bits and pieces. They also stretch to fit a va­ri­ety of sizes,’’ he says.

The Or­der of Malta is ac­tive in 120 coun­tries and is com­mit­ted to serv­ing the poor and sick world­wide.

The idea of giv­ing coats to home­less peo­ple be­gan with the Or­der’s Aus­tralian branch which has caught on around the world.

The rest of the coats will be dis­trib­uted around Auck­land by St Pa­trick’s Cathe­dral in Wyn­d­ham

177 peo­ple sleep­ing rough within 3km of the Sky Tower

50 per cent of home­less un­der 25 One in every 100 Ki­wis were home­less in 2013

St and by its parish in Otara.

Rough sleeper Shaun Far­rell has an ex­tra layer to keep him warm.

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