New shelter Te Whare Hīnātore, opens for homeless women

5:43 pm on 13 February 2020

A new shelter has been opened for homeless women in downtown Auckland.

Auckland City Mission

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Auckland City Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry of Social Development, opened the apartment in Auckland's CBD.

Women and those identifying as women can stay at the shelter for up to twelve weeks with support of a bed, food, shower and laundry facilities.

Following this they will receive a further twelve weeks of support to aid them into permanent accomodation.

The programme will support up to 60 women a year but general manager of social services at the mission, Helen Robinson, said that would not meet demand.

"I'm very conscious this year that we will work with 60 women, I'm very conscious that probably there will be another 100 this year that need our help."

However, she said while it would not meet full demand, it would give hope to those 60 women.

A trauma-informed kaupapa Māori approach will be the focus of Te Whare Hīnātore to respond to needs of the participants.

Auckland City Mission chief executive Chris Farelly said the new apartment was more than just a shelter.

"This is a place of healing where people will be for some months and then move from here into permanent housing, not temporary responses but something that will lead and enable permanent housing."

Community Housing Aotearoa chief executive Scott Figenshow said the apartment was paving the way for addressing homelessness in New Zealand.

"This is exactly an example of what we need to be doing a lot more of , we should be able to stand in front of ten of these examples."

The announcement followed a pilot programme which ran during the winter last year.