AT THE LAST CENSUS, 4,200 PEOPLE were LIVING WITHOUT shelter. THAT'S 1,400 PEOPLE LIVING ROUGH (on the street) AND 2,800 LIVING IN CARS.*
Gimme Shelter is an independent advocacy group for homelessness in New Zealand.
Gimme Shelter believes that the primary obstacle to housing our homeless is not a lack of money or a shortage of effective strategies, but a refusal to work together around permanent, targeted, data-driven solutions. We cannot succeed if key players like government and community services continue to work in isolation, nor can we end homelessness if we fail to prioritise housing and supportive services to the most vulnerable among us.
The failure to collaborate meaningfully within and across communities results in missed opportunities for assistance and sub-optimal targeting of existing resources. Until local businesses, foundations, government agencies, landlords, outreach workers and service providers are seated at the same table with the same data, local systems will not improve and many of the same people will continue to languish on the streets.
We know that the only lasting solution to homelessness is permanent housing. Far too often, however, we attempt to treat the symptoms of homelessness instead of its root cause.