Auckland's Heart of the City initiative helps homeless find their way

An initiative led by Auckland's Heart of the City is helping members of the street community find a potential way forward.

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One day a week they’re putting their touch on any number of community projects. Source: Seven Sharp

Viv Beck, Heart of the City CEO says they wanted to find a positive alternative to begging.

"If we can address problems on the street, have a great outcome for people and do some great work for the community, that's a 'win, win, win.'"

Partnering with the Auckland City Mission and local businesses, they implemented Street Guardians which provides opportunities for the street community to get involved with the wider community.

Street Guardians provides a weekly opportunity for the street community to spend a day doing activities with community organisations.

And it's proving a popular alternative to begging.

"This is my first day on the job, I would like to do it again and again, please," says Colin.

Wilf Holt of the Auckland City Mission says it brings the contentment of a job well done.

"That little smile that says, 'I'm OK, I've had a good day,'" he says.

Several of the participants have also gained employment on the new site of the Auckland City Mission.