A couple of New Zealand’s businessmen are making a big splash in the country’s rising homelessness population.
That’s why Gary House and his colleagues are considering purchasing a 400-bed cruise liner to dock in Auckland.
“Living on a cruise ship is not a long-term solution,” House told The Guardian, “but things are so bad for so many families now, it could help ease the pressure for two or three years while longer-term strategies are put into place.’
The philanthropists have received some negative responses about the quality of life in the cruise ship, but House’s enthusiasm is unmoving.
“People would not be on the ship 24/7. They’d be getting off, going to work, living normal lives. But at least, at night they could return to a bed and not a park in the middle of winter.”
Huriomoan Dennis, the chairman of Te Puea Marae – an area providing shelter to homeless families in Auckland – supports House’s plan.
“It is obviously a short-term solution but I support any proposal that will get people out of cars and into something warmer and bigger,” said Huriomoan. “At the moment there is nowhere short term for people in desperate housing situations to go, and a cruise ship would allow the social agencies to catch up with families and help them while they have a roof over their head.”
Cruise ship or not, the huge waves House and his colleagues have made towards the awareness of homelessness in Auckland can only bring support and more ideas for solutions.
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