An event to understand homelessness

World Homelessness Day on Monday 10 October will be marked by an event in Aotea Square that will bring the homelessness sector and Aucklanders together to share what it really means to be homeless.

World Homeless Day

World Homeless Day: Te Ao o te kāinga kore.

Auckland Rough Sleepers Initiative

The event will run from 9:30am to 2:30pm and will include information, health promotions, hourly performances and presentations, as well as a human library where people can talk directly and openly with those who have experienced homelessness. There will be a diverse range of arts and crafts, activities, a celebrity ‘cook off’, live music and carving. We will be doing a soft launch of the Āwhina site for users and service providers at this event.

Charlotte Ama from the James Liston Hostel says the day will be focused on highlighting the plight of our homeless and will take the time to reflect on the increase in numbers of people experiencing homelessness in our own backyard.

“Homelessness is something that should be talked about openly and with energy every day until there is a solution to it. But in recognition of World Homelessness Day as a global effort in raising awareness, we’ve chosen this day to bring together those working in the sector and those with past or current experiences of homelessness to share their knowledge and experience with the public,” says Charlotte.

“Creating dialogue is key to breaking down the stigma associated with being homeless and finding new pathways to improving the health and wellbeing of those going through it.”

“As the inflated Auckland housing market leaves more and more people homeless in its wake, it is important that we do not become complacent and accept homelessness as a by-product of the crisis. Whilst there are many drivers to becoming homeless and no ‘one size fits all’ remedy to this issue, it’s vital that we don’t lose sight of the fact that having shelter is a fundamental human right, ” Charlotte says.

The event, which is funded by Auckland Council, is a collaboration by the collective of organisations working in the Auckland homelessness sector, who come together under the banners of the ‘Auckland Rough Sleepers Initiative’ and the ‘Rough Sleepers Steering Group’. Both groups work with interested agencies to improve the experience of those sleeping rough and to keep the issue of homelessness on the public agenda.

Those wanting to hear exactly how the sector is working with homeless Aucklanders can talk to organisations on the day such as Lifewise who are leading on the Housing First Project in the central city. It’s a collaborative project with a range of stakeholders and uses a world renowned model to house the most complex chronic rough sleepers. The project is currently going through a robust design phase with a target implementation date of December 2016.

“Our hope is that people come away from the event with a different perspective on homelessness – an understanding that it is a deeply complex issue effecting real human beings,” says Charlotte.

“I think anyone who comes along on the day will leave with a real sense that they’ve learned something important.”

For more information about the Auckland World Homelessness Day Event please contact:

Charlotte Ama
James Liston Emergency Housing Provider
Phone – 09 376 3885
Mobile – 021 714 797
Email – manager@jameslistonemergencyhousingprovider.co.nz

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