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A very Happy New Year from all of us at Lifewise, Methodist Mission Northern, and Airedale Property Trust. Before we launch into an exciting 2017, let’s take a look at everything you helped us achieve last year:

Across New Zealand, more than ever before, Kiwis made it clear that they will not tolerate homelessness. From Auckland to Christchurch to Napier to Hamilton, we all connected in solidarity and joined the #ParkUpForHomes movement.

Auckland’s most influential, powerful, and leading personalities made sure that homelessness did not leave the headlines. Their participation in the Lifewise Big Sleepout 2016 raised over $333K and even got the government to take some constructive steps.

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Paula Bennett, who was at the time the Minister for Social Housing, announced a $9 million investment into Housing First projects to support the most vulnerable New Zealanders’ housing needs.

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The Cross Party Inquiry also recommended Housing First as the Government’s primary of working with people who experience homelessness.

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The Rotorua Homeless Action Plan was launched with the support of Ngati Whakaue, Te Arawa Whanau Ora, Salvation Army Rotorua, Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Ministry of Social Development, and Rotorua Community Probation Services.

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More Kiwis became more neighbourly! Over 1200 streets and communities across the country took part in Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2016.

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With support from Aucklanders who have experienced homelessness, awhina.net.nz was launched – an online directory for information on services and facilities that people need in order to help themselves.

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The Ministry for Social Development, in their review of Child, Youth, And Family Services, agreed to put the voice of young people at the centre of decision-making and focus on prevention.

These are just the highlights, but there are many more happy updates on our Facebook page. We could not have come this far without your support. Thanks to you, we now believe more than ever that together we can make a real difference to New Zealanders.

Thank you so much for all your help and your generosity. With your support, we can continue to challenge injustices, develop solutions, and promote hope for a better future for New Zealand.

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