Try being homeless for a night

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Adrian Whale from the Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Trust is urging people to sign up for this weekend's sleep out event. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Adrian Whale from the Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Trust is urging people to sign up for this weekend's sleep out event. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The trust which helps homeless families is urging people to support their sleep out in Whangarei tomorrow.

So far 35 people were registered for the Canopy Bridge Hope for the Homeless event, which would include guest speakers, singing, a simple supper and trying to sleep either in cars or on the bridge.

Tickets were $10 for people aged 16 and over and $5 for children, but participants were also encouraged to get sponsorship where possible. Proceeds supported the work of Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Trust (TTEHT), which was commemorating its 10-year anniversary and was busier than ever.

Since 2006 TTEHT had helped more than 1500 people experiencing a housing crisis.

Trust chairman Adrian Whale had been with the organisation for eight years and said when he arrived, the trust's resources could cope with the number of families needing their "landlord of last resort" service.

Now, turning families away was a daily reality and 137 families are on the waiting list.

In Whangarei the trust manages a seven-unit family facility, a four-bedroom house for six single men, and a three-bedroom house which could house a family longer term. It was hoping to secure another property this month.

The event was designed to raise awareness by people experiencing one night of being homeless, and to raise funds for the trust's crucial service.

It was set to be a crisp, clear 10C night on Saturday.

Hope for Homeless sleepout registrations are at emergencyhousing.org.nz/UPCOMING-EVENTS, or turn up at the Canopy Bridge with sleeping gear tomorrowfrom 5pm.

- Northern Advocate

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