Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning announced Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland’s Homeless Count – Auckland’s first region-wide count of people living without shelter (people living on the street and in cars).
Funded by Auckland Council and led by Housing First Auckland, the count will take place on Monday 17 September and include a survey and tally of those living without shelter.
“This is the first time a region-wide count of homelessness has been conducted in Auckland, and the first time a count of this scale has taken place in New Zealand,” Phil Goff said.
“There is little data on the size and nature of chronic homelessness across Auckland, which is why Auckland’s Homeless Count is so critical.
“Our goal is to end homelessness, not just manage it. To do that we need robust data informing policy and services. This count will significantly improve our understanding of the shape and scale of homelessness in Auckland, and I’m proud that Council can support the Housing First collective and the wider sector in its delivery.”
Providing a snapshot across the Auckland region
Auckland’s Homeless Count will cover the Auckland region from Wellsford in the north to Waiuku in the south, Piha in the west and the Hunua Ranges in the east.
Fiona Hamilton, Project Manager for Housing First Auckland said the Point in Time approach being used for the count is the most effective methodology to understand the size and nature of unsheltered and temporary homelessness.
“A Point in Time count provides a snapshot of people living without shelter at a given time on a given night. Point in Time counts are a well-established approach internationally for understanding unsheltered homelessness and an important step to ending unsheltered homelessness in a community.”
“Measuring the extent of homelessness is essential to ending it. When data is used to inform service delivery and national policy-making, we can have the most significant impact.”
Register now to volunteer
On the night of the count, volunteers will speak with people who are living without shelter on the street or in cars. Volunteers will work in groups of three including a volunteer team leader with experience working in the community such as a social worker or NGO staff member.
Approximately 750 volunteers are needed for the count and Phil Goff said he encouraged Aucklanders to get involved.
“In the first 12 months of the Housing First programme we have housed 420 homeless adults and children. That is a great start, but this survey will spell out more clearly the scale of the problem we have to address and the extra efforts we as a community must make to deal with homelessness,” he said.
Register online to be a volunteer for Auckland’s Homeless Count.