Auckland City Mission shifts to temporary premises

By Mānia Clarke

Auckland City Mission staff and clients are welcoming the move to temporary premises while their current building undergoes a transformation at a total project cost of $90mil.

Missioner Chris Farrelly says the Union St premise will be home for the next two years.

“The old centre was so small and unfit for purpose we couldn't even sit down for kai, we had to stand and eat,” says Farrelly.

“There was not even a good kitchen there but somehow we made do as you do.”

For 38 years the mission has been providing food parcels, counselling, medical care, addiction rehabilitation and meals to the city's needy just around the corner, on Hobson St.

“It's been a long time coming,” says mission client, Spider, “Very much so. It's about time we had a change.”

The move is to make way for a new 10 floor build named Mission HomeGround that will replace it.

“It's like, almost like, a wharenui, tops, some tukutuku panel-like-looking on the side,” says Farrelly.

Two floors will provide a new detox facility with 30 beds.  Five floors are for 80 apartments for the homeless through Housing First.

Since 1920, Auckland City Mission has served hot meals to the needy.

For the next two years breakfast and dinner to 100 people per day, seven days a week, from a new temporary dining room.

“Kai is at the heart of life,” says Farrelly.

“But kai is not just about filling the puku, it's about engaging with each other.  So that big dining room in there will be a point of engagement.”

“You get a few that'll be a bit- you know, but yeah otherwise the majority of them are happy to see that we're going to get another building,” says Spider.

Homeless and crises services will resume tomorrow following a blessing ceremony and medical services begin on Monday.