By Arwen Sommer
1 in 5 trans people in New Zealand have experienced homelessness. People living without shelter are twice as likely to be LGBTQIA+ compared to the general population. We speak to RainbowYOUTH homelessness advisor Therese Go and support worker Tycho Vandenburg about the systemic factors behind these statistics.
How to access support from RainbowYOUTH:
To get support from RainbowYOUTH's homelessness team you don't have to be sleeping on the street - if you're couchsurfing or having problems at home they will be able to help you.
RainbowYOUTH offers information, resources, advocacy, 1:1 peer support and peer support groups. You can contact them at: (09) 376 4155, filling in a referral form, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by their walk-in centre at 10 Abbey Street in Auckland Central.
RainbowYOUTH also has a nationwide online chat service that runs Monday - Friday from 3-5pm where you can reach out and talk anonymously.
Some other avenues for queer-focused support:
- List of rainbow-friendly counselling: https://ry.org.nz/what-we-do/rainbow-friendly-counselling
- Gender Minorities Aotearoa (Wellington) - GMA offers information, advocacy, and wrap around support for transgender people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds
For urgent, crisis and after hours help:
- OUTLine NZ - 0800 688 5463 - ( 6-9pm every evening) confidential, free, LGBTIQ+ affirming support line and face to face counselling
- Youthline - 0800 376 633 or free text 234
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865
- Healthline - 0800 611 116
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757