The Inquiry heard repeatedly from organisations and others that they were stressed and unable to cope with the level of homelessness they were facing. Wellington social worker Jude Douglas said the experience of working with the homeless is “like a medic in a war zone with no supplies.” Comcare Trust housing support services manager Annette Sutherland said “Do I choose a woman who is eight months pregnant living in a car? Or do I choose somebody who is homeless in hospital and about to be discharged? These are the choices you have to make when you’re running emergency housing.”
The report went on to say:
“Our existing organisations can make a real difference to help the homeless when there are enough temporary beds, enough resourcing for full wrap-around services, people are given the help they are entitled to, and enough permanent affordable housing is available for people to move in to. However none of these conditions are currently being met. There is no nationwide system to provide people with the homes they need. The resourcing providers are receiving is not enough to deal with the large volume of homelessness we are now facing and some people are falling through gaps in support. This means we need both an increase in funding and to look at some new approaches to help a greater number of people receive the assistance they require.”
You can also read the Lifewise press release here.