Hundreds help to count homeless in Auckland

Organisers are crunching the numbers from the first regionwide census of Auckland’s homeless population.

Hundreds of volunteers last night fanned out across Auckland to undertake the sensitive task of counting the region’s homeless.

The census, Ira Mata, Ira Tangata, is the first of its kind in the city

Armed with a map and a specially designed app, small teams headed to known rough sleeper haunts and scanned less likely areas as part of an attempt by community organisations and the Auckland Council to quantify the city’s homelessness problem

Before heading out, Wilf Holt of Auckland City Mission, dubbed the grandfather of street counts, told the hundreds of volunteers to treat those they came across with respect.

After all, he said, they were walking into someone’s bedroom.

“You’ve actually taken a bit of effort to set up for the night. You’ve laid your groundsheet down, you might have put some cardboard down, you’ve got your bedroll down, your blanket on top of that. You’ve packed away your gear, you’ve covered in it plastic in case it rains.”

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Source: Radio NZ