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Working poor at 'crisis' point

Published: 12:14PM Monday July 07, 2014 Source: ONE News

Hundreds of Auckland families are in a state of crisis with the rate of suburban homelessness rapidly increasing, a spokesperson for a homeless aid group says.

Around 15,000 people in Auckland are believed to be sleeping rough in overcrowded garages or couch surfing.

Danielle Bergin from the Island Child Charitable Trust says that many of the working poor are finding it difficult to secure accommodation, especially after they've had to give up rental properties.

"They're actually treading water, trying to make it day by day," Ms Bergin told TV ONE's Breakfast.

She believes that not enough is being done by the Government to consult groups that have first-hand knowledge of just how desperate many families have become.

"If homeless workers are finding there's a barrier, how are the homeless finding it?" she said.

Furthermore, many of these families are also facing the prospect of having their children placed into care, something that Ms Bergin says is completely unjust.

"We should be keeping families together here in New Zealand and supporting Mum and Dad," she said.

"Just because economically they can't secure a private rental, doesn't mean that they should have to lose their children."

She claims that some solo mothers are being told to give their children up temporarily until they can find accommodation but that once they give them up it is extremely difficult to get them back.