The Auckland region is vast – 4,894km2, from Wellsford in the north to Waiuku in the south. To help us accurately count the region, Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland's Homeless Count relies on the support and commitment of hundreds of volunteers. We’ve also got a team of dedicated coordinators helping us to plan and prepare for the count by leading community engagement in five ‘sub-regions’: North, East, Central, South and West.
Zac Kim is our sub-regional coordinator for North Auckland. The North Auckland sub-region includes the area from Takapuna north to Wellsford, including Albany, Orewa and Warkworth.
We asked Zac a few questions to get to know him and his role a bit better.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from and what do you do?
I was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Auckland’s North Shore when I was two years old. I currently work for the Heart of Youth Trust (youth mentoring service) as well as leading the kids programme at my local church, C3 Church Ellerslie.
As the sub-regional coordinator for North Auckland, what is it that you love about the area?
It’s the most beautiful part of Auckland! The North Shore and coast has stunning beaches. We have amazing cafes, parks, Lake Pupuke, the Matakana markets, I could go on! Most of all though, I believe the North has a strong sense of community with lots of great local initiatives taking place.
How did you find out about the count?
I found out about the count through attending a monthly community meeting run by the Family Violence Prevention Network. The leader of the network suggested I apply for the sub-regional coordinator role.
I decided to put my name forward because I love the community of the North. This is where I grew up, went to school and the place my family and I will always call home. I consider myself blessed for having grown up and lived on the North Shore and it’s a great privilege to be part of a project that can in some way give back to the community.
Why should people volunteer for the count?
I would encourage everyone to get involved in the count. Particularly for my community as there may be a misinformed belief that homelessness is not really an issue facing our area. I hope that the count goes some way to changing this misconception and highlights some of the real needs facing some of our people in our region.
Ultimately, I am thrilled to be part of this project because I believe wholeheartedly that no one in our city should be homeless, and those who are should be supported to get out of homelessness.
At least 750 volunteers are needed for Auckland’s Homeless Count. Find out more and register to volunteer before 31 August 2018.