21 Aug 2021

Tāmaki Makaurau homeless assured accommodation available during lockdown

6:15 am on 21 August 2021

Agencies working with Auckland's homeless community say anyone sleeping rough who wants to be housed during the lockdown can be.

General vision of homelessness in Auckland central city.

Agencies are reaching out to people rough-sleeping in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Luke McPake

During alert level 4 last year, most homeless people around the country were placed into emergency accommodation.

Lifewise community services manager Peter Shimwell said many of those people are still in secure housing, so there is not the same level of need this time.

"Quite a lot of the community we work with are actually housed or in temporary or emergency accommodation," he said.

"The early indications are we are not seeing as many people who are not housed, so very much our focus is going to be reaching out to those people who are in short-term accommodation and seeing that they have got what they need to support themselves."

But Shimwell said there were options available for people who have been made homeless, who want to be housed.

"We run a motel out in Epsom where we have got a few vacancies if anyone is stuck or been made homeless during that period.

"We will make sure that we get people to the right place where they have got a nice warm space and a roof over their head."

The Auckland City Mission is working with government agencies to ensure any rough sleepers who want to be indoors for the lockdown can be housed.

City Missioner Helen Robinson said her teams have been out offering support to the homeless community.

"If someone is on the street and they say they want to come indoors, we will work with [the Ministry of Social Development] or [the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development] to bring them indoors very quickly."

The Auckland City Mission is also offering food and other support for those still on the streets.

Both the mission and Lifewise are essential services, so can continue operating at alert level four under strict protocols.

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