There’s more to homelessness than sleeping in a cardboard box, and this Wednesday 10 October the invisibility of homelessness will be lifted when the needs of homeless people are highlighted on World Homeless Day.
In Auckland, the day will be marked by public talks, stage performance and art workshops in Aotea Square.
Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says the day is about drawing attention to homelessness and debunking 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".
"By working together we can better address homelessness in Auckland," says Hulse. "There’s so much great work being done by homeless agencies here and we’re keen to acknowledge and bring the public’s attention to all the positive changes happening in this space on World Homeless Day."
Corie Haddock from Lifewise and chair of the New Zealand Coalition to End Homelessness adds, "Our homeless population 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."
Aotea Square will host workshops by local artists in uku/clay, raranga/weaving, whakairo/carving, painting and lei making; there’s also the opportunity for people to participate in creating a collaborative piece of art in each medium.
Additionally, people can bring in small objects (3 to 30cm) which artist Alex Bartleet will incorporate into an artwork.
The stage will host performers including theatre, dance and emerging singer/songwriters between 10am-3pm, with a break from 12noon-2pm when talks on homelessness by participating agencies will take centre stage.
The activities in Aotea Square run from 10am to 3pm and are free to attend.
For more information on this event, please visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/events
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