Rotorua Lakes Council is continuing to work with Visions of a Helping Hand on a solution which will allow Rotorua's homeless to once again have somewhere warm to sleep.

Four weeks after the opening of Rotorua's night shelter, the homeless were told they can no longer sleep there overnight.

As reported by the Rotorua Daily Post on July 5, Rotorua Lakes Council staff inspected the property and found the site was being used for overnight sleeping, a breach of the agreement between the council and organiser Tiny Deane, of Visions of Helping Hand.

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Since then the council has continued to work with organisers to ensure fire safety and structural reports were carried out on the building.

The council's kaiwhakahaere Māori Gina Rangi said fire safety experts and structural engineers were working on reports for Visions of a Helping Hand's daytime and night centres for the homeless.

"The council offered to pay for the reports for the night centre some weeks ago.

"We haven't received completed reports as yet and as we don't know what the outcome of those will be, we are continuing to explore, with other community groups and agencies, other possible emergency response options that may be available to get us through this winter.

"We all want the same outcome but as a council, we need to ensure any building providing overnight accommodation is safe for that purpose.

"We think that's even more important when dealing with a very vulnerable group of people."

Until the building is consented it will continue to operate as an overnight drop-in centre, not set up with beds.

Julia Fonotia, from Visions of a Helping Hand, said the council had assured the organisation it wanted to work with them.

"We don't know what that means yet."


She said Visions of a Helping Hand had begun looking at alternative buildings which were already consented for sleeping.