In New Zealand, homelessness is described as a living situation where people with no other options to acquire safe and secure housing are: without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household, or living in uninhabitable housing.

There are many reasons why people become homeless and the issue is very complex. Some homeless people are living with mental illness and/or addictions, while others are not. However, homelessness is frequently a result of being socially, emotionally and physically isolated from networks that many of us take for granted.

Homelessness takes many forms, but the most visible are rough sleepers – those sleeping on footpaths, in empty buildings, doorways and car parks.