On Saturday 25th March a couple of our youth groups joined with many others to support Auckland City Mission’s latest fundraiser. It was a sponsored 17km walk from various parts of the city. That’s a pretty long way, and a lot of time! Teams walked anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, coming in from Glen Innes, Epsom (via Kelly Tarltons) and Henderson. There were routes from the North Shore and Mangere as well on the website, or teams could set their own courses, like St Georges!
In the Auckland City Mission’s research, they have found that someone who is sleeping rough will walk an average of 17kms a day to access essentials like food, a safe place to sleep, medical help and somewhere to wash! The Auckland City Mission seek to help with all of those essentials. Their new building called HomeGround, they can house 80 people, in addition their second site in central Auckland that can house another 60 people. Homelessness is really complex and can come about as a result of all sorts of reasons. The Mission works alongside people to navigate the challenges they face.
I walked with my daughter the day before, because, I knew I’d need some time to recover before meeting our amazing, energetic, enthusiastic young people! The first 10 or so km’s were fine, the next 5 were a bit average and the last 3 or so, well, shall we say less fun! However as I walked those last kilometres, they made me think. I knew that when I finished, I’d be able to go home. My home is pretty dry, its warm, our pantry and fridge are full enough. I have a shower and clean clothes and I get to hang out with my family regularly. I even have access to the medical care I need, when I need it. These are all things I largely take for granted in my everyday life.
For those who are sleeping rough, everyday life can be 17kms, just finding basic necessities. There are many, many people in our communities whose experience of life in NZ, in Auckland is so very different. We are given snapshots, stories across media, statistics and fantastic communicators telling these stories of hungry children, rough sleepers, cars becoming homes, but rarely are we confronted by the reality unless we choose too seek it, and sometimes its easy to resent it when we are confronted.
The crew at Auckland City Mission choose to walk with those who are struggling every single day, they listen, troubleshoot, create connections and help people find their own solutions. Thank you that you do this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
A huge thank you to St Georges, Epsom and NorthWest Anglican, Massey for catching the vision and joining in with all the craziness and energy you inevitably bring… I can’t wait for what you’ll come up with for next year and who will choose to join us!
Thank you to all our sponsors for supporting myself and our young people as we chose to live beyond ourselves on Saturday. Let’s do it all again in 2024, shall we?