February 06, 2018
Community key to finding homeless answers
One of the people behind a conference this month on homelessness says the response depends both on loud voices from the community and having government agencies willing to act.
Te Puni Kokiri’s Auckland regional manager, Marty Rogers, says the Maori Development Minister has become involved because of the number of Maori who have become homeless, maybe because of economic circumstances or because of one bad decision they can’t recover from.
She says the problem has been growing but was often hidden, as it encompassed not just rough sleepers but those whanau forced to live in their cars or in overcrowded or unsuitable accomodation.
But it needed disrupters like Mangere’s Te Puea Marae to challenge the system and push the issue to the top of the agenda.
"Sometimes it takes a community-based disrputer or initiative to allow then for the system to respond in a different way than it has been doing. As long as our commnnity voice can raise its voice and be heard, then organisations like mine can then wrap our support around them," Ms Rogers says.
The New Zealand Coalition to End Homelessness conference – He whanau whare kore, he kai mate hau will be held on February 21 at the Auckland University of Technology.
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