New Zealands most ‘housing insecure’ are men

Safe home

Men are New Zealand’s most vulnerable when it comes to housing.

Men seem particularly vulnerable to housing insecurity, says Greg, a peer support worker with Lifewise, who works with men experiencing homelessness.

He told RNZ’s The Detail they’re often facing a web of other personal challenges.

Thinking of the people he works with now, Greg says there are a lot of reasons men find themselves without a stable home.

“Some grew up in boys’ homes; some hospitals, through mental health.

“Others have had such bad home lives that they just came straight out on the streets when they were young and never left.

“Some have just been in and out of prison their whole lives because they didn’t know any other way, and that’s what they saw around them, so that’s what they did.

“There’s not one reason. There are all sorts of different reasons…and trying to unpack that is the hard part,” he says.

HomeGround, the Auckland City Mission’s Hobson Street facility, aims to accommodate those in acute need of housing while also tackling the drivers of homelessness through wraparound support.

Auckland City Missioner, Helen Robinson reinforces men’s housing insecurity saying around 70% of the people coming through the doors at HomeGround are men.

However, Robinson says the tragedy at Loafers Lodge is symptomatic of a broader problem.

It’s about having the means to help.

“Despite there being a large number of community groups across the country designed to provide care and services for vulnerable people, the funding and coordination of services isn’t there,” Robinson says.

“I think what something like Loafers Lodge is showing is that that support is not rocket science, we just have to acknowledge that people need it.

“New Zealand is learning how possible it is to support people, but actually that it’s difficult, and it’s time-consuming, and it does require resource to do it.”

Robinson says the tragedy is symptomatic of a broader problem.

“It’s important to acknowledge the failure of New Zealand for 40 years to actually create enough good housing that’s appropriate, that’s affordable, for us all,” she says.

She lists poverty, trauma, violence and relationship breakdown as causing homelessness.


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