Helping those who go without in our city
Poverty is a huge problem in New Zealand and it’s getting worse. Recent financial crises have seen an increase in urban poverty. Over the past two decades the proportion of the population officially living in poverty increased from approximately 6% to 12% of households.
The number of people who have come to the Auckland City Mission for emergency food support has risen. In the past eight months, the Auckland City Mission has distributed as many food parcels to individuals and families in crisis as it did in the entire 12 months prior. There is often a misconception that the people become dependent on food parcels, however the majority (about 65%) of people who go to the mission only ever do once or twice in their lives.
Homelessness is another growing issue for Auckland and an indicator that people are finding Auckland a tough place to live. The number of people found sleeping on the street within a 3km radius of the Sky Tower had increased from 147 in 2014 to 177 in 2015. The Mission’s clients find themselves homeless for a myriad of reasons – from dysfunctional homes blighted with drug and alcohol abuse to violence, job loss, eviction, foster home runaways and exiting gangs. The study found that often any kindness from fellow homeless people could be construed as the new ‘family’ and, with nothing to return home for, homeless people often remained so for a long time. Alexis Sawyers, Fundraising Team Leader at ACM says that “We get feedback that people ‘choose’ to sleep on the streets, but it isn’t generally a choice but rather a lack of any other options.”
How you can pass it forward in our city:
1. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME WITH SOME FRIENDS
Grab a group of more than 3 and volunteer at the Grafton distribution centre aucklandcitymission.org.nz/get-involved/volunteer/
2. GIVE A KOHA FROM YOUR PHONE
Text "FIGHT" to 4741 to donate $3 directly to the Mission
3. FOOD COLLECTION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 28th
Grab some extra items during your food shops this month and bring it to our end-of-month collection on Sunday 28th August