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VisionWest hosts national Housing First announcement

VisionWest hosts national Housing First announcement


On Sunday the 12th May, the Prime Minister and Minister of Housing and Urban Development were hosted at VisionWest Community Trust at Glen Eden Baptist Church.

The event was the announcement of a landmark investment in the ongoing growth of the Housing First programme. VisionWest has been a key participant agency in the Housing First Auckland Collective over the past two years demonstrating the programmes ability to work for chronically homeless individuals and families.

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Now two years into its operation in Auckland, Housing First is having a profound and transformative effect on those whose lives have been without housing. As of March 31st, 2019 the Housing First Auckland Collective had housed 512 adults and 452 children, making a total of 962 people housed. Of this number VisionWest has housed 134 adults and 259 children. 

VisionWest welcomes the announcement of a further 197 million dollars invested in Housing First over the next four years nationally.  VisionWest’s CEO, Lisa Woolley, has been instrumental in implementing Housing First in New Zealand.   Lisa’s 2014 Master’s thesis on support services for the homeless was a key piece of writing regarding Housing First in NZ, alongside VisionWest’s early social housing approach which aligned with Housing First principles.  With this increased investment, VisionWest will be able to continue this great work and see the opportunity to end homelessness come closer to a reality.
You can read Lisa’s housing thesis on line here.



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The Prime Minister said "Housing First is all about breaking the cycle. It recognises that most long-term homeless people have a number of complex problems such as mental health issues and addictions, and that they have a far higher chance of addressing them once they are housed."

Lisa Woolley said “The Housing First programme supports transformational change leading to greater wellbeing for people and whanau in our communities.  Housing First is an evidence-based model that works well for people experiencing chronic homelessness. Importantly, it enables people to immediately move into permanent housing, which gives them the stable platform from which they can be supported towards wellbeing, whatever that looks like for each person or whānau. It is often a long journey and we need to stay with people over the long term to support the change that people are working towards. We are therefore delighted that this funding recognises the ongoing investment required to continue to house and walk alongside people we’re currently working with and also meet the needs of many others who are currently without homes or support in our communities today.

The announcement included an opportunity for VisionWest Housing First clients to meet the Prime Minister and tell their story first hand. Afterwards they were able to sit with journalists, and share their story of transformation. One client described his life before being housed -"I'd find myself at three o'clock in the morning at a basin with cold, cold water trying to keep myself clean," he said. "They were hard times but I kept it quiet from everyone. Housing First has given me my life back and a place to call home.”

This announcement was a huge step forward for New Zealand and the work of Housing First at VisionWest. You can read and view the related articles by following the links below: 

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