Homeless head count finds 48 people sleeping rough in Rotorua

A one-night count of Rotorua’s homeless has found 48 people sleeping rough in our city – not counting those being housed for the night by agencies.

The Rotorua Homeless Headcount took place on February 26.

A group of 34 volunteers from Lifewise, LinkPeople, Rotorua Lakes Council and more went searching for people in homeless hotspots and asked them why they were there, as well as questions to paint a picture of the demographics.

Of the 48 people who were counted on the night, 17, or about a third, were Maori who identified as being Te Arawa, said Lifewise Rotorua service manager Haehaetu Barrett.

“This fact highlights not only the importance of the street count but also the importance of developing a response that is not top-down but collaborative from all walks of life across our communities,” Barrett said.

“That is why seeing members of iwi and hapu joining us at the street count is so heartening. Already we are seeing the beginnings of a collaborative approach to tackling homelessness.”

There were at least another 36 people and families housed for the night by government and community agencies, according to LinkPeople.

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