Te Puea Marae inundated with support and donations for homeless

By Mānia Clarke

A meeting will take place at Te Puea Marae tonight to discuss how they can assist homeless families in Auckland. Marae representatives told Te Kāea they will look at how the marae plans to support families in need and will reveal their strategy  tomorrow. Te Puea has been inundated with calls of support from locals and abroad.​

Māngere's Budgeting Services are putting their hands up to help Te Puea Marae.

Māngere Budgeting Service’s CEO Darryl Evans says, “We would most definitely be wanting to work alongside Te Puea.  We run a food bank, we can assist with kai.  Making sure these people are getting budgeting support, we run a budgeting service.  Having no home is incredibly stressful.  We run counselling services.”

Te Puea Marae will look to help the homeless for a period of three weeks, and work with Māori health groups and social services to help them into permanent housing.

Evans says, “Anything that brings people out of cold cars, our young vulnerable kids out of the rain, and into a warm place where, they've got a bed, they've got a warm blanket and get some good health kai, that's got to be a positive.”

Since Te Kāea broke the story, the marae has also received calls from people wanting to support, from as far as New York, the Waitomo Caves in the Waikato, and Te Pā Harakeke Kōhanga Reo, just across the road from the marae.

The Ministry of Social Development also confirmed to Te Kāea last week that they would be speaking to Te Puea Marae to see how they can work together.

The government has announced funding for 3000 emergency housing places per year, and is seeking to contract that out to community organisations and housing providers nationwide.

“Over the last week or so through the media we've seen that families across New Zealand, not only in Auckland, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, are knowingly coming out saying that they've got a homeless problem with people in cars,” says Evans.

Contracting for the 3000 emergency places is expected to be in place by September.