A small group of businessmen in New Zealand have announced their plans to buy a cruise ship to help New Zealand’s homeless.
Charities in Auckland have estimated that there are hundreds of homeless people sleeping rough in the city every night. As well as this, even some working families are currently forced to sleep in cars, meeting houses or garages.
The proposed solution from a group of businessmen is to purchase a cruise ship. They plan to buy a 400 bed Italian vessel and dock it in Auckland harbour to provide a home to those without.
One of the businessmen involved said: “Living on a cruise ship is not a long-term solution 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 group of colleagues involved in the purchase would need to pay out five million New Zealand dollars to transport the ship from Europe and estimate it should take a month or so to arrive.
The house prices in New Zealand are some of the highest in the world as prices have now increased 75% in the last five years.
The Salvation Army has commented on the proposal and said that it is not suitable for the needs of the people concerned. They said: “What New Zealand needs to face up to is finding long-term, permanent solutions.”
However, the head of a local emergency accommodation centre said: “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.”
“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.”
What do you think of the news? Do you think more should be done to help the homeless? Do you think this solution will work? Let us know in the comments below…// END - About the Author ?>