Winter coats donated to Auckland's homeless by Catholic church
Article from AucklandNOW
One hundred rough sleepers now have an extra layer to keep them warm for the chilly winter months ahead.
The Catholic Church in Auckland was gifted high quality coats to distribute to the city’s homeless by the Sovereign Order of Malta.
“It started over a lunch time conversation with one of the members of the Order of Malta who was visiting Auckland from Sydney,” says Lindsay Freer from the Catholic Diocese of Auckland.
He was disturbed to hear of the extent of homelessness here and because they have constructed some thousands of coats in Australia, he decided to send some to us.”
James Liston Hostel in Freemans Bay provides emergency housing to those in need and opens its doors for the homeless to be able access showers.
The hostel was gifted 24 coats to distribute and manager Charlotte Ama says they were all grateful.
“We’ve given them out to the rough sleepers when they came in to access our showers,” she says.
“They are handy the way they are made as they’ve got velcro and pockets for them to store stuff and the weather has been quite cold recently.”
The Auckland City mission’s latest street count in May found more than 177 people were sleeping rough within a 3km radius of the Sky Tower and rough sleepers usually increase over winter.
The parish priest of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Monsignor Bernard Kiely is delighted to be able to give warm, quality coats to the homeless people.
“The coats are so warm and lightweight, with internal and external pockets to take a person’s bits and pieces. They also stretch to fit a variety of sizes,” he says.
The Order of Malta is active in 120 countries and is committed to serving the poor and sick worldwide.
The idea of giving coats to homeless people began with the Order’s Australian branch which has now caught on around the world.
The rest of the coats will be distributed around Auckland by St Patrick’s Cathedral in Wyndham St and by its parish in Otara.
Learn more about our Coats for the Homeless project
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