Home­less fund­ing boost

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF REPORTER

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.

GE­ORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

The num­ber of home­less in the Auck­land CBD is rapidly in­creas­ing ac­cord­ing to the Auck­land City Mis­sion.

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