Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Guestspeaker: Gray Crawford


Daniel organised for Gray Crawford, from the City Mission, to come and speak to us.
 Every night, the 30 beds in the men's shelter are full. They are provided with a hot meal. 



There are also 7 beds for women. Women often have dogs to keep them company and keep them safe on the streets. The women's shelter now has kennels for the women's pet dogs.

The City Mission is currently building a brand new women's shelter with 12 beds.

There are three apartments for families, who have nowhere else to stay. These are often full and there is a waiting list.

Mental health is a major issue. Anyone can be affected and many people are still having difficulty after the earthquakes.

Up to 30 families a day visit the food bank. Sometimes parents keep their children home from school, instead of sending them to school without lunch. They might be proud and want to keep their troubles secret.
At Christmas time, there can be 60-70 families a day.

The City Mission puts on a big Christmas lunch for over 700 people. The Crusaders assemble a giant tent and the city's firefighters put the tent down at the end.   

There are day programmes for men and women.

According to the latest census, 1 in 5 children in New Zealand live in poverty. That's roughly 222,000 children. 

Poverty can lead to obesity. Junk food 'fills you up, but doesn't build you up.' It's convenient and is often cheaper than healthier options. The City Mission also helps with money management skills and drug and alcohol services.    

Ben shared his past knowledge with us and we learned that Coupland's provides fresh bread to the City Mission. 

The best kind of food to donate to the City Mission is non-perishable, e.g. canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, Weet-Bix. Ingredients for baking and cooking aren't as helpful, because people who are homeless don't have kitchens to cook in. 

Sometimes people who beg with signs claiming to be homeless are not actually homeless. They're just trying to get money. It's best to support the City Mission directly. 

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