A ten million dollar grant to Auckland City Mission’s ‘Mission HomeGround’ project is the largest made by Foundation North since it was established in 1988.
“As the community trust for Auckland and Northland, we are delighted that our largest grant ever is going to an organisation with such a distinguished history of service to our region,” Foundation North Chief Executive Jennifer Gill says. “Mission HomeGround will create a community hub for Auckland in one of the most densely populated areas in New Zealand where there are very high levels of deprivation and very few facilities available to residents.
“In addition to meeting existing needs, our grant will help ensure the Mission has the capacity it needs to serve inner Auckland as the city’s population grows over the coming decades.”
Mission Homeground will see a range of services, including a community café, a health centre and pharmacy, provided across a new seven story mixed-use eco-friendly building and the restored Prince of Wales Hotel. The project will also provide 80 supportive housing units for homeless people based on the internationally successful “Common Ground” model and an expanded Detox unit.
The new building is being designed by award-winning architects, Stevens Lawson, with the intention of enhancing the Hobson Street streetscape. Much needed open spaces for the local community will be created around two courtyards, designed to complement the neighbouring historic St Matthews in the City.
Auckland City Missioner , Chris Farrelly, says Foundation North has been an important funder of the Mission’s work for 25 years.
“This truly significant grant demonstrates clearly that we share a common vision for the wellbeing of the people of Auckland. The Foundation’s grant is also underpinned by a vision that as a community together, we will end homelessness and provide support services to those in our community and neighbourhood who have the greatest needs.”
The Foundation North grant follows a commitment from the Ministry of Social Development to meet $18 million of the cost of the $76 million development, and the Mission’s own contribution of $18 million. Public fundraising for the balance of $30 million will commence next year.