Auckland Council has released new research into the city's homeless population, which has more than doubled in the city centre in the space of a year.
A count last October found 142 people sleeping rough within three kilometres of the Sky Tower, up from just 68 in 2013.
The new report says many have a history of violence, emotional abuse and neglect.
And while the public often see homelessness as a choice, many on the street have very few options as they can't access help without documents and a fixed address.
Diane Robertson of the Auckland City Mission says the housing crisis is number one cause of increasing homelessness in the city.
Prices have hit all-time highs, with demand outstripping supply in both the ownership and rental markets.
"At the end of the day, rough sleepers or people who very, very poor are the ones who are going to miss out on accommodation," Ms Robertson said on Firstline this morning.
Rough sleepers also tend to have troubled backgrounds.
"Many of them have been in foster care, they've been abused, they've had really terrible lives before they've come to the street. It's not like somebody just makes a choice and comes and lives on the street. There's a long pathway there."
She says any "choice" rough sleepers have is between the streets and accommodation that's potentially even more dangerous, or costs so much they can't pay for food and medical bills.
Watch the video for the full interview with Diane Robertson.
source: newshub archive