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House for the homeless during lockdown

A house has been opened for the homeless in Tairawhiti/Gisborne who are self-isolating during the Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Gisborne District Council's Emergency Coordination Centre has been working with the Ministry of Social Development, other agencies and local providers to ensure somewhere safe for them to be housed and cared for.

Those who have indicated they will stay in the house for the entire lockdown period have been prioritised by agencies who work with them regularly.

ECC group controller Dave Wilson said the move was the result of a collaborative effort between a number of agencies.

“It is great we can help those who want to be helped,” he said.

There are a number of people who did not wish to be helped but Mr Wilson assured the community they would still be checked on regularly and helped should they need it.

“This has been a challenging issue to manage and resolve and it will continue to be an ongoing focus for us as we endeavour to give assistance,” he said.

People living in their cars are also being assisted where possible.

The move is part of the ECC response to Covid-19 and will be funded out of Civil Defence Emergency Management budgets, which will be reimbursed by central government.