WelCom November 2017: To mark World Homeless Day more than 130 people slept rough or in their cars at Mt Cook School in Central Wellington overnight on October 13 for the annual 14HoursHomeless event. The aim was to experience, in a small way, and better understand what it is to be homeless and, through sponsorship, to raise to funds for the homeless-support agencies taking part.
Sr Catherine Hannan said to see the homeless agencies working together as caring organisations at the event is a mark of Wellington’s character.
‘Wellington Free Ambulance was there all night on standby for any health needs and Wellington City Council provided all the promotional material’, she said.
The participants could visit any two of the five Wellington agencies involved: The Compassion Soup Kitchen; Wellington Night Shelter; Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust; Wellington City Mission; and the major organiser The Salvation Army.
‘It was a great opportunity to meet face to face the very many people who are involved in helping homeless people in our city,’ said Sr Catherine. ‘But most importantly it was an opportunity to better understand the reality of being homeless that many face on a daily basis.’
Together the Wellington agencies raised $41,355, of which staff and volunteers from Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust raised over $12,000.
With one in 100 Kiwis now classed as homeless because they are living in unsafe or unsuitable locations, many agencies in Wellington are working together to end homelessness under a joint strategy called Te Mahana. Every day, these agencies are helping those experiencing homelessness with access to essential services and safer accommodation’, Sr Catherine said.
Visit www.homeless.org.nz for more information.