Every time homelessness hits the headlines, the statistics get challenged. The often quoted number is that there are 41,000 homeless people in Aotearoa New Zealand, which is a staggering 1 in every 100 people. Some claim this number is inflated because not all of those 41,000 people are living on the streets, instead many live in precarious or crowded circumstances.
In this Face to Face we talk to expert Dr Kate Amore of Otago University about the different categories of people making up the total of 41,000 so you can make up your own mind about how bad the problem is.
Regardless of how you measure it, homelessness is on the rise. While not all of those 41,000 people are living on the streets, they are living in vulnerable circumstances. As a result, they are at a much greater risk of unexpectedly ending up on the streets. The Salvation Army has made videos covering the stories of three such people that ended up unexpectedly homeless.
Today many Kiwis are spending 14 hours homeless to raise awareness of homelessness. Morgan Foundation’s General Manager Geoff Simmons is joining their ranks and spending the night sleeping on cardboard to raise money for Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry (DCM).
You can make a contribution to the work of DCM here. If you are up late Geoff will be tweeting his experience on @geoffsimmonz.