Up to 250 homeless people in the Western Bay may have to be housed in motel rooms to keep them safe and stop the community spread of Covid-19.
Civil Defence, government departments and social agencies are working in unison to provide essential wrap-around support services to help them understand the importance of self-isolation and staying inside their ''bubble''.
Some would also need help with other issues including mental health and drug and alcohol addiction.
New Zealand, Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said today there 708 confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases in New Zealand, with 14 people in hospital. This included 18 cases in Bay of Plenty and 11 in the Lakes District.
Tauranga mayor and Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group chairman Tenby Powell said a lot of work was going on in that space right now.
''First and foremost we have a lot of homeless in Tauranga Moana. We need to ensure that we look after them, that we put them in a safe and secure area so that they're in their own bubble.''
He said it was not just a case of saying ''here is a motel room, here is the key and now look after yourself and we will see you in four weeks''.
''As you know some of these people have high needs. So we need to have the environment where we can provide wraparound services to them which are many and varied.''
Powell said announcements would be made shortly on the motels and how the wraparound services would be managed.
The agencies had engaged with more than 50 of the city's homeless but the number of people requiring assistance was likely to be much higher.
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Powell had advised Minister of Housing Megan Woods that agencies were anticipating that accommodation would need to be found for about 250 homeless.
He said he could not speak highly enough of the Government ministries involved alongside non-government organisations who had continued to feed the homeless during the lockdown.
''We're now also looking to support them as they are doing fantastic work abiding by all the rules.''
Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust executive director Tommy Wilson agreed wraparound services were vital before homeless people were placed in motels.
''It's social skills surgery that is going to be needed more and more as the days and the weeks tick on. So we must make sure that is in place.''
''The depth of knowledge needed to provide this frontline service should not be underestimated.''
The trust was looking after 117 families in emergency and transitional housing which included 30 motel units.
At present staff were checking on those families up to four times a day and he said that is where the problem was ''getting them to stay in their own bubbles''.
''It is a constant challenge for us but we've been doing pretty good. Like today we're having to move a mother and her three kids from a house because the other two families are not self-isolating and putting her at risk.''
Hospitality New Zealand accommodation sector Bay of Plenty chairman and 850 Cameron Motel owner Tony Bullot said it had been approached by the Ministry of Social Development about providing rooms.
He had forwarded the form onto its members but was yet to hear if any had taken up the opportunity.
Bullot said because he had essential workers as guests it was not a good fit for his motel but it ''absolutely'' may be an option for others.
''I know some are thinking about it. But some of the homeless have underlying issues ... and our essential workers are already stressed and nervous enough about their safety as far as Covid-19 infection within this environment.''
The manager of another Tauranga motel, who did not want to be identified, said he knew of some motels taking in the homeless but he was not due to other bookings and the issues some of the homeless "bring with them".