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Sleep-out highlights plight of homeless

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/10/2016

A trust that has organised a sleep-out event in Whangarei to highlight the plight of the homeless says demand for emergency housing has never been stronger.

Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing is challenging the public to sleep out on Saturday night at the Canopy Bridge in Whangarei's town basin.

"We want to highlight the nature of homeless in our local community', says trust chairman Adrian Whale.

The location of the event is symbolic because the organisation seeks to be a bridge between crisis and hope, Mr Whale says.

The trust began in 2006 through the collaboration of several Whangarei churches.

It operates three properties and at any one time can accommodate up to eight families and six single-men, who stay for three-to-four months.

"We estimate we have helped over 1200 households since we began. We want to honour that effort on Saturday night," Mr Whale said.

The trust has been overwhelmed by demand for its services in the past six months.

"We are at levels of intensity that we have never experienced before," Mr Whale says.

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