Toward solving homelessness

We believe that housing is a basic human right and everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home.

We aim for homelessness in our city to be rare, brief and non-recurring and work towards this goal every day through short-term support, long-term solutions and advocacy for change within the systems that contribute to homelessness.

If you need help with housing, click here

We use the Statistics New Zealand definition of homelessness which references living situations where people have no other options to acquire safe and secure housing and includes people who are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, shared accommodation with a household that is overcrowded or living in uninhabitable housing. This includes whānau sleeping on the street, or in a car or shed, as well as those who are couch-surfing.

Homelessness is a complex problem without one single solution. In order to respond to homelessness, we need a diverse range of housing and support options for the whānau we support and a strong supply of housing.

Every journey to find a home is different. From emergency housing, and residential services, to ongoing support to access and sustain permanent accommodation. We work alongside people to support them on their journey.

Over the years, we have helped many people through their homelessness journey. One person, Potoz, had spent much of her life without a permanent safe home. After support from many different areas of the Mission, Potoz now proudly has a place to call ‘home’. Find out more about Potoz’s story.

Homelessness is a complex problem. We have found that working with other agencies is the best way to solve homelessness. Collaboration is key.

Our key responses to homelessness

Permanent Apartments

HomeGround offers permanent apartments for 80 people, and similarly a new site leased by the Mission in central Auckland, Te Ao Mārama, can accommodate 60 tenants, also offering permanent homes.

There is an even mix of Housing First tenants, that is, those who have lived on the street previously and have other physical and mental health needs, and people who are on the social housing register and do not need extra support.

The tenants have the security of a 24/7 safety officer and a daytime support officer.

“I moved into Te Ao Mārama a few weeks ago and it’s nice. I have my own place. I haven’t had my own place before; as a kid I was in the system and as an adult I’ve been living on the streets. Now I have a place and I can do my own thing, and I’m also getting to know some of the other people who live there. When I want to eat, I can cook and when I want to sleep, I can go to bed. I’m thinking about doing some study. I failed school but I want to study microbiology so I’m looking at going to AUT. I think it would be cool and I could be good at that.” – Johnny

An apartment building next to a motorway at night time.
The Housing First approach

We are a Housing First provider and part of the Housing First Auckland Collective.

The Housing First approach recognises that it is much easier to address complex needs, such as mental health and addiction, once people are housed. Previous models stipulated that people should be sober, or mentally well, in order to be “housing ready”.

The Housing First model flips this process and argues that people are better able to address the deeper issues they face if they are living in a safe, secure home environment. So, find a place to call home first, then support people to access the services that help them live well.

Housing First sees the need for permanent, secure, appropriate, safe housing as a fundamental human right and people experiencing homelessness need housing provided quickly, with client-led tailored support for as long as necessary.

Optimising outcomes for Māori

Housing First is recognised internationally as the leading evidence-based programme designed to end homelessness. However, success rates in Canada have varied significantly between indigenous and non-indigenous populations.

It was clear that for Housing First to work optimally in Aotearoa there would need to be a degree of reinterpretation to ensure it aligned with principles of Te Ao Māori and worked for Māori. Housing First Auckland established a Kaupapa Māori group that led the creation and implementation of the kaupapa Māori framework Tāiki to support kai mahi.

About Tāiki

Tāiki is a kaupapa Māori framework developed by the Housing First Auckland (HFA) kaupapa Māori group, which includes tangata Māori from each of the provider organisations and is supported by the collective backbone team. The Tāiki framework is illustrated with the kōkiri (spearhead). A traditional formation used in military encounters, the kōkiri reflects a position of strength by taking a cohesive and unified approach. The word Tāiki is commonly heard in formal oratory occasions. It is used to signal the group is united and ready to progress the purpose of coming together.

Te ao Māori
A Māori-centric approach is at the point of the kōkiri shape and positions the importance of viewing the framework through a Māori world view.

Housing First principles
These are the five principles that sit within the Housing First model. They are in the graphic below.

He ara tikanga o Tāiki
Tāiki sets out three ara tikanga (cultural concepts) to guide our collective mahi. These are rangatiratanga, whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga, which are elaborated on below. These concepts drive our practice, influence our behaviours and determine the way we support people.

This segment of the kōkiri reflects the uniqueness and mana of each organisation. It is at the discretion of each organisation as to how they adopt and adapt the ara tikanga in practice. Each organisation may use other cultural concepts.

Tāiki enhances and enriches the delivery of Housing First in Aotearoa. Using Tāiki alongside Housing First maintains integrity to the model and ensures that it is delivered in a way that works for Māori. Underpinning this is the philosophy that housing is a fundamental human right.


You can find out more about the work of the collective here.

Our Street to Home team

Our ‘Street To Home’ team supports people to find and stay in a safe and secure home.

The work of this team is underpinned by the Housing First principles, and the cultural principles of Tāiki (see the Housing First section above).

It’s a diverse team of social service, health and peer support practitioners who do street outreach, advocacy, case management, housing and tenancy support.

Most people are familiar with our outreach work, but that’s just part of our work to support people to access and sustain housing. Our Outreach team works across the city with people who are living on the street – finding people who might need help or are vulnerable.

Hands-on help

To help build trust, we assign a Key Worker to each person who comes to us looking for housing. For some people that means a quick solution while for others it’s a process that can take years.

We only ever offer support that people want. This might be talking to a mental health nurse or help with housing, or providing something to eat. Sometimes it can be as simple as a weekly check-in to say hello.

Our team provides support to access and sustain permanent housing and provides continuity of support throughout this process and often long after a person is housed. Supports may include:

  • applying for social housing
  • following up on an application for social housing and support to update changes in circumstances
  • referrals to other community housing providers
  • connection with healthcare, peer support and/or specialist services
  • additional support for whānau to address other health and social needs.

One of the best things about our Key Workers is they don’t stop working when a house is found. They keep supporting with things like:

  • transport to, and viewing of, accommodation as it is offered
  • tenancy sign-up, help to understand the tenancy agreement and tenant rights and responsibilities
  • ensuring body corporate and building rules are understood
  • links to budgeting services, explaining things like rent and utility bills and supporting people to set up redirections to cover costs
  • accessing food and basic furniture items.
  • connecting to local community supports and activities
  • weekly home-visits to address other needs and work on goals and aspirations.

Peer Support

Our Peer Support network is made up of individuals who have actually had experiences of being homeless, bringing unique insights and perspectives to the conversations.

Referrals for Street to Home support

You can refer yourself or someone else (with their consent) for Street to Home support. We discuss Street to Home referrals weekly, and will respond to your email within 7 days of receiving it.

[email protected]

For emergency housing support, see the contact information on our Get Help – Housing page

Who are the people we help?

We help people who are experiencing homelessness, and are at risk of losing their tenancy.

Homelessness is defined as a living situation where people with no other options to acquire safe and secure housing are:

  • Living without shelter.
  • In temporary accommodation.
  • In sharing accommodation with a household e.g. overcrowding; or,
  • Living in uninhabitable housing.

NZ Statistics Definition of Homelessness

Definition for those at risk of losing their housing are Individuals or whānau who:

  1. Are on a pathway to Homelessness and/or are at immediate or serious risk of eviction; and
  2. Are living in adequate housing and have a tenancy agreement (as defined under the Residential Tenancies Act);
    1. and need a support service to help them stay housed, to achieve their goals,
    2. and/or require immediate intervention to prevent them from losing their tenancy and becoming homeless.

We are helping people access permanent housing right across the city. And our new HomeGround building has 80 apartments.

Advise us if someone is homeless

If you’re worried about someone sleeping rough, you can let us know here

You can refer yourself or someone else (with their consent) for Street to Home support. We discuss Street to Home referrals weekly, and will respond to your email within 7 days of receiving it.

[email protected]

For emergency housing support, see the contact information on our Get Help – Housing page

With your support last year, we helped


people into permanent housing


people access emergency housing


people access transitional housing

as well as providing street whānau with

activities & classes

health & outreach services

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In the last year, generous

people like you have

helped Aucklanders in need...


food parcels distributed to families & individuals in greatest need*


health consultations at Calder Health Centre*


drug and alcohol