After approving a ten-million dollar grant to Auckland City Mission’s ‘Mission HomeGround’ project three years ago, Trustees from Foundation North were recently invited to see first-hand the progress being made.
Mission HomeGround will create a community hub for Auckland in one of the most densely populated areas in New Zealand. The Hobson Street development will transform the area, where there are very high levels of deprivation and housing insecurities and very few facilities available to residents.
On 3 August, a group of nine Foundation North Trustees and staff were escorted around the site and given updates on how the project is tracking.
Trustee and Chair John Slater recalls the day that he and fellow board members decided to approve the single largest grant in the Foundation’s since it began in 1988.
“Whenever a large sum is requested, there is a lot of rigour involved in the assessment and decision-making”, said Mr Slater.
“Foundation North has supported the Auckland City Mission right from the start; there is a strong relationship, a good understanding of the need and a shared vision for our city. Enabling this grant to happen was unquestionably the right thing to do”.
Trustee Vanushi Walters agreed, saying it’s crucial to support members of the community who are experiencing hardship.
“I think this is a place that all Aucklanders can be proud of. It’s all about supporting people who are going through really hard times and standing beside them. I think this is also going to be an incredible community space that is somewhere we can all call home in many ways.”
The facility will house a range of services, including a community café, a health centre and pharmacy across a new seven storey mixed-use eco-friendly building.
It will also encompass around 80 supportive housing units for people experiencing housing insecurities and will be based on the internationally successful “Common Ground” model, as well as 25 drug and alcohol detoxification units.
Construction of Mission HomeGround is expected to take a further 12 months.