Homelessness in Napier
Like many cities, Napier has a small number of residents who experience homelessness.
A number of strategies are employed across the world to support people who experience homelessness. In New Zealand, there are a range of services and supports available to address housing needs and other issues sometimes affecting people who are homeless. Strategies and supports in New Zealand vary according to the nature and size of the issue and the availability of support services in each location.
Napier has had a small pocket of people ‘sleeping rough’ for several years.
Reducing homelessness is not something that can be accomplished by one agency or sector.
Begging and homelessness
There are a small number of people regularly begging in Napier’s shopping centres, particularly in the CBD. Several support services have offered to them help with housing and other support.
It's important to note that not all homeless people beg - and not all beggars are homeless. In fact, most of Napier's beggars have a roof over their heads and receive financial assistance. Money offered to beggars on the street mostly feeds addictions – it doesn't help them at all. Many in community feel intimidated and businesses are concerned for their customers.
Napier City Council has supported the Outreach Service (helping the homeless), security patrols in the CBD and has relaunched the ‘Helping Hands Campaign’ which encourages the community to stop giving money to beggars and instead support the agencies that help those in need. To stop begging in Napier, cash donations to beggars have to stop. This needs our whole community to get on board.
If you want to help, give to those that help:
Whatever it Takes Trust (Outreach Service)
Bank Account: 02-0700-0080443-00
Napier Community Foodbank Trust
Bank Account: 02-0766-0026618-02
Bank Account: 02-0700-0013128-00
Christian Lovelink (Furniture and household goods)
Bank Account: 03-1355-068464-00
Cross Sector Group - Homelessness
A Cross Sector Group comprising several government and community agencies has been established to collaborate and act together to reduce homelessness in Napier.
Napier City Council is the lead agency responsible for coordinating the group. Its current focus is to determine the extent of people living without shelter (sleeping rough or in cars, tents etc) in Napier and to identify what can be done to help people in these situations.
This project has been initiated to help us find out more about those who are living on the street in Napier. The service has three objectives:
- To ascertain the nature and scale of those who are without shelter in Napier by gathering information, researching and analysing to produce documented evidence of the current situation.
- To develop and implement a service that works alongside individuals who are entrenched ‘rough sleepers’ or at high risk of becoming so.
- To make recommendations on effective actions and/or steps to be taken to address the situation at the end of the pilot.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When was the Cross Sector Group set up?
- Who is in the group?
- How many people are homeless in Napier?
- Why are people homeless?
- What is Council's role in solving this issue?
- Why can't Napier have a night shelter?
- Who is running the Outreach Service?
Following a community hui in August 2015.
The members of the group are from the following agencies:
Citizens Advice Bureau Napier, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Ministry of Social Development, Napier City Council, NZ Police, Salvation Army Corp, Trinity Methodist Church and Whatever it Takes (WIT).
We understand that there are 20-30 people ‘sleeping rough’, mainly in the CBD. There are others who sleep in cars and tents. These people are considered ‘without shelter’. There are people who are living in temporary accommodation such as camping grounds or staying with family/whanau or friends.
There are a range of factors contributing to why people experience homelessness. They range from issues of safety in their normal home, lack of social service support, addiction, physical and mental health issues and financial issues. Often the situations are complex.
Council is responsible for making our public spaces accessible, safe and able to be used for what they are there for. We also work with others to help address social issues in Napier.
The extent of the homelessness situation needs to be understood to determine the appropriate response. The Outreach Service Pilot will provide recommendations as to what suitable actions may be taken.
Whatever It Takes Trust is providing the Outreach Service project. For more information about Whatever It Takes Trust, see their website www.witservices.co.nz