“.. Lifewise general manager John McCarthy and Dr Cathy Casey, chair of Auckland Council’s social and community development forum – are scathing in their assessment of the treatment of the most vulnerable.
They say New Zealand’s response to homelessness lags behind other developed countries:-
- there are no official numbers -
- there is no legislation -
- there is no national strategy -
- and there is no funding.
“It’s homelessness in all its guises.
It is people living in garages – in cars – having 20 family members living in one room –
- homelessness is a New Zealand problem so the Government must be involved in it,” Casey told the Sunday Star-Times.
“They can start by having a strategy – having a plan or having some legislation that says people have the right to a warm, secure, safe home.”
McCarthy provides critical services to vulnerable and at-risk people at Lifewise, a not-for-profit organisation.
He said the rate of homelessness is increasing – and the fact the Government has not tried to even define the number of homeless people is indicative of a lack of concern.
“I guess from the Government’s point of view once you start counting and start recognising a problem -
- then there’s an expectation that you might do something about it”..”
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