Three homeless people on waiting list for housing
Three people in Nelson’s homeless community are on the waiting list for accommodation, Housing First says.
In a Stuff article on Wednesday, community advocates were critical of government agencies in their dealings with the men who were temporarily housed in a ‘pop up homeless shelter’ at the Unite Church.
They’d been bunking down at the facility for six weeks following the atmospheric rain event in August.
In a statement provided to the Nelson Mail, Housing First team leader Jaap Noteboom said Housing First was able to connect with seven of the people who had been staying at the church.
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Three of the people identified as homeless were accepted to the Housing First programme and are currently on the waiting list for accommodation, he said.
“Four people did not meet the criteria for Housing First and were referred to the Ministry of Social Development for assistance. A further person withdrew from the Housing First application process.”
In a previous statement, HUD general manager partnerships and performance Will Barris said the Housing First service in Nelson was “currently at capacity”.
“We continue to work with providers in Nelson to increase the supply of public and transitional housing.”
Housing First Nelson Tasman is run as a partnership between Te Piki Oranga, the Male Room and The Salvation Army Nelson Tasman Bays Corps, and operates under a contract with Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
At the beginning of October, the Government announced that The Male Room, a drop-in centre that offers advocacy and support, was to receive $250,000 in funding to address homelessness.
In Nelson, those funds will be used to create a governance group “driven by the homeless, and supported by the community, to identify and plan strategies that provide housing options for the homeless”.
Advocates such as Jackie Galland, who runs Giving Aroha, and newly elected councillor Matty Anderson have argued that the uptake the pop up shelter had illustrated the need for such a facility.
In the meantime, Galland has been distributing tents to those who have left the church and as of yet have no other option than to sleep rough.
Nelson’s night shelter closed in February 2022.