Innovation That Matters

Bus station shelter | Photo source Pixabay

Bus station transforms into night shelter for the homeless

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Auckland Transport helped accommodate up to 15 people in need every night during the winter season.

New Zealand’s Auckland Transport (AT) has transformed its Manukau bus station into a night shelter for the homeless during winter. The agency worked with the Salvation Army and several churches on the project. The project came to light when the Salvation Army asked for local businesses to open their doors to the homeless after a number or rough sleepers died from the cold last winter. There are 30-50 rough sleepers staying around the Manukau town centre, with another 20-30 in Manurewa.

Manukau’s bus interchange, which opened in April, catered to around 15 rough sleepers every night. Approximately 50 people in need dropped in every night, too. About 90 percent of the rough sleepers were men aged 30-50, but a handful were under 18 years old. The shelter opened from 10pm and closed at 7am the next morning. During the nine-hour opening slot, those in need received a mattress, soup for dinner and breakfast. The Salvation Army provided the service and security in place, with the police and AT security staff helping out. Several Salvation Army volunteers slept over each night.

Homelessness is a crisis impacting town and cities around the world. With the cost of living rising and wages not reflecting this, many people are unable to afford a safe place to live. While governments around the globe must work to change this, companies can play their part to making life easier for those in need. There have been a huge number of innovations this year to help rough sleepers. An organisation in the UK is providing the homeless with addresses so they can access support services. Another app helps the public donate money to rough sleepers via a QR code. How could your operations help the homeless?





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