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Media release: 8-Nov-2016: Lifewise is pleased the government is investing more to end homelessness. However, we would urge government to invest where it will make a lasting difference.

“While there is a place for emergency housing, we also need to ensure that people are placed quickly into stable, permanent accommodation with the wraparound support they need,” says Moira Lawler, Lifewise Chief Executive. “We need access to affordable housing not more emergency responses.”

Permanent housing solutions, such as Housing First, give individuals and families hope and a sense of security. As a result, they can focus on things such as finding a job, looking after their families, and getting back on their feet. Permanent housing, as a result, is much more effective than investment in short-stay housing options.

Lifewise feels that the government have not yet got the balance right between investment in emergency housing, permanent housing solutions such as Housing First, and other effective interventions such as non-recoverable emergency grants and long-term supports. Getting this balance right is essential in ensuring that our investment to end homelessness works.

Media contact:

Emily Mead, Intelligent Ink

(09) 629 4213 / 021 973 479


Lifewise – editor’s note

Lifewise are an Auckland-based community social development organisation, who develop new ways to solve challenging social issues, and work with families, older people, people with disabilities, and people at risk of homelessness to turn people’s lives around.  Lifewise’s roots trace back to over 150 years ago within the Methodist Church of New Zealand, and the organisation has since changed and developed to meet the needs of Aucklanders as the city grows.

Focusing on the principle of interdependence rather than independence or dependence, Lifewise are recognised for their work providing sustainable solutions to social issues, rather than focusing on simply meeting immediate needs, in an attempt to address the root causes of social isolation and disadvantage.  Lifewise offer services and support for individuals and families to imagine a better future and build their capacity to achieve that vision.

In order to make a tangible, long-term difference to issues surrounding homelessness, Lifewise works to an internationally acknowledged ‘housing first’ model, and is working to influence homelessness intervention practice at a national level.

They also run Lifewise Merge Café, located on Karangahape Road, providing affordable, nutritious food for everyone. Merge Café encourages people from all walks of life to share food and conversation, and all proceeds raised go towards supporting people who need housing support.  The café acts as a one-stop-shop, enabling people in need to access Lifewise’s staff and services, and providing a safe environment that embraces choice, dignity and respect.

Lifewise aim to be a ‘go-to’ organisation, through which media can access accurate, balanced and constructive commentary on issues including:

– Parenting support

– Good outcomes for children in care

– Support for families under stress

– Quality early childhood education

– Neighbourhood and community development

– Mental health and addiction support

– Older persons’ care

– Services for people with disabilities

– Ending homelessness

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