Homeless count in Auckland doesn’t paint a full picture – yet

The first city-wide census of people living rough in Auckland estimates 800 people are living rough or in cars but this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The census – funded by the Auckland Council at a cost of $375,000 and organised by the Housing First Collective – spanned from Wellsford in the north, across to Waiheke Island and down south to Waiuku.

More than 600 volunteers roamed Auckland’s streets on September 17 armed with clipboards and orange vests to get a sense of how many people are living rough.

It counted 336 adults living rough, including under bridges, in parks, on the street and 157 of those sleeping in cars.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff volunteered that night.

“What you saw was a range of people whose lives have been broken by addiction, by mental illness, by breakdown in relationships and by debt,” he said.

But people living in overcrowded houses, boarding hostels, or staying in places like hospitals weren’t included, nor did the count include those living in transitional and temporary housing such as motels.

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Source: Radio NZ