By Te Karere


The Auckland City Mission head Chris Farrelly has set a lofty goal for his organisation for 2018, to end homelessness in Auckland.

With around 20,000 currently homeless, it’s his organisation that is at the coalface of the problem.

Tarati Blair meets needy families’ every day at the Auckland City Mission.

“We always think it's tough in the lead up to Christmas with food and presents. Actually, it's really even tougher after Christmas, unexpected expenditures.”

She says women are bearing the brunt of those pressures.

“The stresses of everyday life seem to culminate during that time when you're at home with lots of kids. That always puts lots of pressure on most families and how most people react isn't with kindness sometimes and so we have a lot of women who are suffering right now who are getting physically abused.”

CEO Chris Farrelly says they are aiming to help alleviate those pressures by providing a roof over families’ heads.

“We are calling it housing first that is actually providing a home for every single person who is homeless and then wrapping around services to support them.”

Last year 190 found homes under the scheme, but with around 20,000 homeless in Auckland City, Farelly has his work cut out.

“I think our general population does not accept and does not want to accept homelessness in Auckland at all and we must bring this to an end.”

A national conference on ending homelessness will be held next week in Auckland.