TODAY |

Tauranga volunteers rally around growing homeless community

Tauranga residents are rallying around their homeless community to provide food and basic necessities, as well as offering health services as that community grows.

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Some residents are rallying around to provide homeless people with everyday services. Source: 1 NEWS

Housing and rental prices in the city have reached an all-time high, making it more difficult for more people to keep a roof over their head.

Every Monday night, volunteers amass at a local carpark to help those sleeping rough - including giving them haircuts and donating personal hygiene products.

The rapid relief team usually supports communities during emergencies, but tonight they're flipping burgers for the needy alongside charity Street Kai.

Rapid Relief's Grant Etchells says even people with a home can need help sometimes.

"It's not just people sleeping on the streets, there's people that might have a job, but after rent there's nothing left for food," Mr Etchells said.

A housing shortage has led to increased social inequality in Tauranga, which is not helped by a ban on begging and rough sleeping which was rolled out in April.

Up to 100 people seek help from the volunteers each week.