One of our new projects planned for 2024 is a Pilot Outreach Service catered to our Rough Sleeper community in New Plymouth.

We have long sought to support and journey alongside this community through our programmes, kai for koha cafe, and Listening Ear service – but we have avoided any more in-depth engagement until we were ready to ‘do the mahi’ properly. It is complex support work, requiring time, capacity, and specifically dedicated team members.

In preparation, we have undertaken literature reviews, analysed similar models (within Aotearoa and beyond), and had discussions with our rough sleepers, funders, and other service providers.

At the end of 2023, we reached out to the Toi Foundation and shared our vision for this community project. We were absolutely stoked that the Pilot received partial funding – sufficient to proceed with exploring with other funders.

Project Objectives

Develop an inter-service collaborative co-designed pathway to support the homeless community

  • Collaborate with local service providers, police, government agencies, and non-profit organisations to create a comprehensive support pathway.
  • Conduct outreach programs to connect with homeless individuals, providing advocacy, information, goal-setting/coaching assistance, and long-term supported routes to housing

Tackle antisocial behaviour, particularly in the New Plymouth CBD

  • Develop strategies (including education) to address safety concerns while respecting the rights and dignity of homeless individuals.
  • Implement measures to “design out” antisocial behaviour in public spaces, such as community-building initiatives and activities in the CBD that help to build confidence and collaborative relationships rather than ‘fear of the other’
  • Support individuals into exploring opportunities for constructive use of their time, including mentored assistance in community projects; and pathways into training and employment opportunities

In the next part of the story, we explored working with our local Police, Taranaki Housing Initiative Trust, and District Council to make this happen. So far, so good – all three are keen to be involved /collaborate, and NPDC has, awesomely, signed up as a further funding partner.

Our next steps will be:

  1. Seeking out a further funding partner – in order to make the pilot programme achievable (Is this mahi your passion? Could YOU as an individual or via your organisation/business get this project across the line? We would be very, very keen to hear from you. Please reply to this email – or drop a message to [email protected])
  2. Recruitment for the roles required for the Pilot Project to run
  3. Holding collaborative community hui and stakeholder meetings, and engaging in pathway co-design, resource allocation, and outreach worker training.

We will definitely keep you in the loop as things happen – and would love to hear from you if you’re keen to collaborate or find out more.

Arohanui, Jamie