Social agencies and the mayor have welcomed news that nearly 1000 motel units have been secured for the homeless nationally including some in Tauranga.
Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods made the announcement yesterday in the wake of Covid-19 and said it was a massive ongoing effort.
"I'm hearing a lot of heart-warming stories about people who have not had decent shelter let alone a bed to sleep in, for a very long time, being moved into accommodation and feeling incredibly relieved to have somewhere to live."
"The various groups involved in this effort are assisting these people with food parcels, hygiene packs and sometimes providing them with phones so they can easily communicate with them during the lockdown."
"Community groups also tell me more people who have been living rough are now coming forward for help, so now they have started engaging they can continue to help them."
Ngai Te Rangi iwi social services chief executive Paora Stanley said there were about 80 rough sleepers in Tauranga and 400 hidden homeless.
People were really afraid of Covid-19 so it made sense to move them into motels for their own safety and the safety of others in the community.
By his understanding 54 people had been placed into the motels and Ngai Te Rangi was helping some of those.
The service had an extensive team of social workers and the mobile health clinic which enabled people to access to doctors and nurses.
Stanley said it was ''tough work and a hell of a job'' as many of the homeless had mental health and drug and alcohol issues but there had been some success stories already.
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''There's lots of is really good things happening with some of the street people starting to wean themselves off on alcohol... and a couple who started working in kiwifruit after living in their car.''
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said in the past the Government did not realise the city had a homeless problem ''but they do now''.
''Tauranga is an affluent place and it has got lots of wealth ... but we are also socio-economically spilt big time and my goodness me there are a lot of people living in very tough conditions.''
He said collaboration and co-operation between all agencies including the police, DHB and social services to provide wraparound support services for the homeless would be crucial now and in the future.
''It's important we extract the value out of this open and transparent communication as we move forward.''
Powell supported the Government's initiative to build more houses post Covid-19 but said that would bring another set of challenges.
The People's Project in Tauranga has also been approached for comment.