The Auckland region is vast – 4,894km2, from Wellsford in the north to Waiuku in the south. To help us accurately count the region, 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.
Stacey Anderson is our sub-regional coordinator for Central Auckland. We asked Stacey a few questions to get to know her and her role a bit better.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from and what do you do?
I’m originally from Tokoroa but spent most of my childhood in Red Beach. At the age of 18 I left New Zealand to go to America and the UK where I lived for seven years.
When coming off maternity leave after my third child I wanted to work in an organisation that made a difference in our community – somewhere that focused on doing good and enriching people’s lives. I was fortunate enough to get a job with Lifewise in the Housing First City Centre team.
Our focus is housing the chronically homeless within the city centre. It is a fantastic organisation and the whanau that we work with are teaching me something new every day. They’re amazing people and it’s great to see the changes in their lives once they come on to the programme and move into their own home.
As the sub-regional coordinator for Central Auckland, what is it that you love about the area?
I love the diversity of Central Auckland: the hustle and bustle, the different pockets of communities.
How did you find out about the count?
I found out about Ira Mata, Ira Tangata through my work and our involvement in it.
I met Amy Donovan, project manager for the count, through my work colleague. When she described to me the purpose of Ira Mata, Ira Tangata it sounded like a great project to be involved in. This is the first time that a Point in Time count has been done to this size in Aotearoa, so it is going to be an exciting project. I’m working with a great team of like-minded people.
Why is being part of Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland’s Homeless Count important to you?
The count is the first step in identifying how many people, adults and children need a home in the Auckland region. It is a basic human right to have access to a warm, dry home and I hope Ira Mata, Ira Tangata sets the ball rolling for more adequate funding, housing and assistance needed for our Auckland whanau, but also nationally.
Working with whanau every day who have been chronically homeless really has opened my eyes to the needs of people and all the different reasons why people are living without shelter in Aotearoa. There is a need for more to be done, especially so the youth of today can grow up in a warm, dry home, giving them a good start in life.
The more people we have available on the night, the more areas we can cover properly. Volunteering for the count is also a great way to meet other like-minded people who can introduce you to the wonderful world of helping others!
Hundreds of volunteers are needed for Auckland’s Homeless Count. Find out more and register to volunteer before 31 August 2018.