Homelessness in city spotlight

Last updated 13:53 08/10/2012
homeless man
HOMELESSNESS: A number of events will be held in Aotea Sq on Wednesday to mark World Homeless Day.

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Aucklanders are to have a chance to hear about the problems with homelessness in the city and what is being done to combat them as part of World Homeless Day.

The day will be marked on Wednesday by public talks, stage performances and art workshops in Aotea Square.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said it was hoped the events would draw attention to homelessness and debunk the stereotypes associated with it.

"The most common misconception is that people choose to be homeless. As a participant in this year's Lifewise Big Sleepout I have an appreciation for just how tough things are for people on the streets.

Hulse said there was "great work" being done by homeless agencies in Auckland.

Corie Haddock, chairman of the New Zealand Coalition to End Homelessness, said the homeless population was changing.

"It is no longer just those seen on the streets; there are also the invisible groups who are living in vulnerable accommodation or overcrowded homes.

"Action needs to be taken at all levels to address the issue; we need leadership and resourcing to make a clear pathway forward to support people out of homelessness and prevent more becoming homeless."

* The activities in Aotea Square run from 10am to 3pm and are free to attend. Activities include workshops by local artists in uku/clay, raranga/weaving, whakairo/carving, painting and lei making.

People can also bring in small objects (3-30cm) which artist Alex Bartleet will incorporate into an artwork.    

The stage will host performers including theatre, dance and singing between 10am-3pm, with a break from midday until 2pm to allow talks on homelessness by participating agencies.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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