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Homelessness in NapierKāinga koretanga ki Ahuriri

NCC works with several community organisations to support all our citizens, including our small homeless community.

Homelessness in Napier

Like many cities, Napier has a small number of residents who experience homelessness.Napier City Scenes March 2017 17

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 is 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.

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

Give to those who help

Whatever it Takes Trust (Outreach Service)
Bank Account: 02-0700-0080443-00

Napier Community Foodbank Trust
Bank Account: 02-0766-0026618-02

Salvation Army
Bank Account: 02-0700-0013128-00

Christian Lovelink (Furniture and household goods)
Bank Account: 03-1355-068464-00

Outreach Service

This project was initiated to help us find out more about those who are living on the street in Napier. The service had 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.
  • The pilot concluded and the service continued to operate for three years and is now a complementary service to the Housing First programme.

Housing First

Supported by the Hawke’s Bay Housing First champions group, the Housing First programme provides housing and intensive wrap around support for the chronically homeless. Housing First is operated by a collective lead by WIT – www.witservices.co.nz.

Housing First is in the process of being set up in Hawke’s Bay. You can see more about the programme and how it works in Auckland here – www.housingfirst.co.nz.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that there are 20-30 people ‘sleeping rough’ at any one time, 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.

Night Shelters are generally used by rough sleepers. The numbers of rough sleepers in Napier is relatively small. The Housing First programme is targeted to this group and aims to secure long term housing solutions for them.

Whatever It Takes Trust (WIT) is providing the Outreach Service project. For more information about Whatever It Takes Trust, see their website.

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