FAQs about the WNS

Where do WNS clients come from?

Approximately 32% of new clients to the shelter in 2010 were either living rough, or in some kind of improvised shelter. 23% had been staying with friends of relatives, and others had been in hospital, in prison, or in a variety of rental accommodation.

Why do people become homeless?

There are many reasons why someone might find themselves in need of emergency accommodation. In 2010 the ending of a relationship, or of a tenancy was a common factor (20%), other people were asked to leave their previous accommodation, and for some violence was a factor.

Is it just older people who use the shelter?

In 2011 clients of the shelter were of all ages.

Age %
<18 0
18-20 7
21-30 23
31-40 24
41-50 21
51-64 19
>65 4
Unknown 2

What are the ethnicities of the WNS clients?

The majority of the clients in 2010 identified themselves as European (57%) while the other largest group (30%) identified as Maori. The rest were Pacific Islanders, Asian, or a selection of other ethnicities. In the 2006 census 12.8% of people in the Wellington region identified themselves as Maori. In relation to that figure, it is clear that Maori are over-represented in the residents of the WNS.

Do clients of the WNS have incomes?

A small percentage of 2010 clients were in employment (12%). A majority of the rest were on some kind of benefit: unemployment (17%); sickness (24%); invalid (22%). A significant number (13%) had no income source of any kind.

Do clients need to be referred to the WNS?

Nearly half of new clients to the WNS self-referred (47%), and [5%] were referred by friends or family. Of the remainder, 33% were referred by another organisation, including 19% from social service agencies, 4% from health agencies, and 10% from government agencies.