Welcome to the new Lifewise website.
It’s just one of a few changes that have happened this year at Lifewise, and there have been several victories, too, as you will see elsewhere on this website.
Our campaign to raise the age of foster care was embraced by thousands of New Zealanders and supported by the Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley. We led a collaborative process in Rotorua to come up with a plan to address homelessness and Te Whiria Te Aroha – The Rotorua Homeless Action Plan was launched in February. The annual community building event Neighbours Day Aotearoa was a huge success.
These are all part of our efforts to build connected and inclusive communities. We support New Zealand’s most vulnerable people, challenge the injustices they face, and work with them on sustainable solutions. However, our goal to end homelessness is still to be achieved.
The Lifewise team works tirelessly and incredibly hard to get people off the streets and into permanent homes. We continue to collaborate with our partners and other organisations to do this. This year, taking these collaborations further using the Housing First model is top priority for us.
The Housing First approach is not new. It was devised in the ’90s in America and since then it has ended homelessness in US towns and cities and is the only approach that has been researched and evidence based as successful over time.
When Lifewise hosted the leading expert on this subject, Sam Tsemberis, in November last year, he observed that compared to international cities Auckland has a manageable homelessness issue. In his view we could make a demonstrable impact within two years if we adopt the right approach. His challenge to us was to set out to end central city rough sleeping within two years. His view was that is entirely possible.
We are embarking on this journey which will involve rough sleepers, other agencies, government and our funders.
It could also involve you.
There is no government funding for our work to end homelessness – we rely on donations large and small. With your help and your generosity, we can continue to challenge injustices, develop solutions, and promote hope for a better future for New Zealand.
Moira Lawler, Chief Executive