Homeless funding boost
Auckland CBD’s only emergency accommodation has received a $2 million council boost to help house the homeless.
The James Liston Hostel in Freemans Bay will use the funds to renovate bathrooms and activity rooms and increase capacity by five new beds to a total of 40 beds. Auckland Council’s finance and performance committee approved the funding on September 22.
Auckland Council’s general manager of arts, community and events, Graham Bodman, said the decision is vital to help get the homeless off the streets. ’’The James Liston Hostel ... is an essential service for some of our most vulnerable citizens,’’ he said. ’’The funding was identified as a practical pathway to help address Auckland’s rough sleeping challenge and, importantly, to help raise the health, wellbeing and dignity of Aucklanders experiencing homelessness.’’
The funding means the hostel can transition almost 240 people into permanent accommodation over the next two years via a 12 week in-house support programme, followed by tenancy sustainment services.
The latest annual Auckland City Mission street count, in May 2016, found 177 people sleeping rough within a 3km radius of the Sky Tower.
That was 30 more than the 147 people counted sleeping rough at the end of 2014.
The number of homeless in the Auckland CBD is rapidly increasing according to the Auckland City Mission.