On 21 February 2018, the New Zealand Coalition to End Homelessness (NZCEH) organised the 2018 ‘He whānau whare kore, he kai mate hau/Addressing whānau homelessness’ hui/conference at AUT City Campus. The event was open to all with a special invitation to service providers, academics, researchers, government agencies and community practitioners. Organisations were encouraged to sponsor members of the homeless community to attend the conference.
Nau mai, haere mai, piki mai koutou katoa
The title of the conference ‘He whānau whare kore, he kai mate hau/Addressing whānau homelessness’ incorporates a broader understanding of whānau/family to include whānui and all communities of support.
It is from an understanding of our interconnectedness that we can work together to address the struggles impacting the diverse communities that we belong to.
Workshops were presented under the following themes:
- The lived experiences of homelessness whānau
- The forgotten stories of whānau experiencing homelessness
- Persistent challenges to addressing whānau wellbeing
- Strategic ideas of addressing homelessness in Aotearoa
Presenters included the Auckland City Centre Housing First Team, led by Lisa Roberts. “Housing is a basic human right and ending homelessness in Auckland is my commitment to the people we serve,” says Lisa.
The NZCEH Coalition believes every person has inherent dignity and value. Human rights recognise our freedom to make choices about our life and develop our potential as human beings. Owing to a range of circumstances and barriers, homeless people are excluded from these fundamental rights. Often their dignity and mana is diminished and they are not able to enjoy the benefits (economic, spiritual, social and cultural rights-education, employment good health and affordable, healthy housing) that underpins a fair and just society and are vital to the dignity, equality and security of each individual.