After two years of planning and preparatory work Lifewise and Auckland City Mission are excited to launch their Housing First programme.
This is an exciting opportunity and involves taking risks and learning fast in order to change the way we support people experiencing homelessness.
The services provided by Lifewise Hub and Merge Café are changing in order to optimise the deployment of our limited resources for the best outcomes by focusing on long-term solutions – Housing First – to end homelessness.
Lifewise and Auckland City Mission are working in partnership to deliver the Housing First Programme in the Auckland city centre. We are one of four programmes to receive funding from the Ministry of Social Development in Auckland to implement Housing First. This is the first time government funding has been provided to support social agency initiatives that are focused on ending homelessness.
Up to this point, Lifewise and Auckland City Mission have not received any government funding for services they provide to the homeless community. The fact that the government has invested in Housing First – an evidenced-based approach – is hugely validating of the journey Lifewise has been on for many years now.
This Housing First Programme also involves people with lived experience of homelessness. This means the voice of the homeless community becomes a part of the decisions that shape the Housing First Programme.
Lifewise Merge Café
Merge Café will continue to provide fresh, nutritious meals at the same affordable prices. Also on offer is free wifi, free tea and free coffee near the computers, and (on those computers) free access to websites like www.awhina.net.nz in order for people to access additional help as needed.
We are building on the information and support provided through Merge Café. We will continue to provide support, information and connection through peer support workers and community workers in the Café. Our vision is to build our vibrant community cafe space and strengthen connections to the K’ Road community and local businesses. Watch this space!
How can you help? Make Merge Café part of your daily routine with a pay-it-forward approach – you can buy a meal or fresh coffee for someone in need and help to support their journey towards independence. You can also donate online at lifewise.org.nz/donate/