What it's really like to be homeless

What it's really like to be homeless

The Auckland City Mission has released a 360-degree video to give people a taste of what it's like to be homeless.

Called Harsh Reality, it's timed to coincide with the mission's annual winter appeal.

It comes on the back of rising homelessness in the city, with a recent study suggesting there are 44,000 people in New Zealand without a place of their own

Chief executive Chris Farrelly told Paul Henry on Wednesday the video will help people "get into the feet of those on the streets, to understand their vulnerability and how unsafe they are".

And there are more of them in the Auckland CBD than before. The mission's recent count of people sleeping rough within three kilometres of the Sky Tower found it's doubled in only two years.

"I can tell you the vast majority want to come off the streets and into a home, into a house. They want a house."

Black Power gang members told Newshub earlier this week that methamphetamine is making a comeback, and Mr Farrelly believes it.

"What leads to homelessness is multi-faceted: it's poverty, drugs, mental health, people running around from foster homes," he says. "The increase in P and drugs is a really huge factor at the moment and of great concern."

Housing has become a hot-button issue in recent months, and Mr Farrelly hopes it turns into practical help for the mission and its clients.

"I think it's important that we don't become numb to this - that concern and that uncomfortableness is important, and the solutions are there if we work together. Not just an ad-hoc quick fix, but a concerted approach."

Donations can be made to the Auckland City at winterwarriors.org.nz. http://winterwarriors.org.nz/