Stevens Lawson Architects: Auckland City Mission HomeGround

14 September 2020

The Auckland City Mission is a charitable organisation that provides professional health and social services to marginalised Aucklanders. Established in 1920, the City Mission forms an important part of the city’s social fabric and a focal point for Auckland’s most vulnerable communities.
Stevens Lawson Architects were commissioned by the Auckland City Mission to be the architects for the redevelopment of the Mission’s existing premises on Hobson Street, which are deemed to be ‘sub-standard’ and ‘not fit for purpose.’

“A community can flourish only when its most vulnerable are treated with compassion and dignity, and when effective methods and resources are applied to restore their mental and physical wellbeing. This is the purpose of HomeGround. We trust all Aucklanders will help us realise this vision.”
—Chris Farrrelly, Auckland City Missioner

The redevelopment, Mission HomeGround, will enable improved delivery of the Mission’s existing services. The Mission services are to be extended to provide wrap-around services and support to 80 tenants housed in onsite accommodation. These 80 tenants will all be sourced from the social housing register, with 40 studio apartments dedicated to the chronic homeless.A new Medical Centre and Pharmacy, various assessment rooms, public showers and toilets, a social and medical detox unit with 30 beds, and a large eating area for serving regular meals will also be provided. It will also connect with the wider community by creating community activity rooms and commercial spaces for social enterprise opportunities.This supportive housing model based on The Common Ground Model, successfully operating in New York, Australia and Canada, aspires to assist the Mission’s clients’ transition into independent accommodation and supports the City Mission’s vision for sustained social change and ultimately ending chronic homelessness in Central Auckland.

The new Auckland City Mission HomeGround will be a purpose-built housing and social services facility:

  • Tackling the housing shortage by providing 80 affordable homes that are safe and secure with 24-hour support.
  • Offering integrated social services with a fit-for-purpose crisis care facility so physical and mental healthcare and social services can be managed under one roof. A dental practice will also be available.
  • Providing state-of-the-art detox services in conjunction with Auckland and Waitemata District Health Boards, increasing the service in central Auckland by 50% with space for 250 admissions and 1825 additional bed stays.
  • Creating a new community commercial kitchen to prepare healthier meals and aid food distribution.
  • And creating a much-needed central city public space offering life-enriching workshops including art, carving and drama classes with therapeutic effect as well as social events, conference facilities and social enterprise opportunities.

With this design we are aiming to create a new landmark building that identifies Mission HomeGround within the city – a new building that expresses the values of the Auckland City Mission and provides a home for Auckland’s most vulnerable communities.

Source: Stevens Lawson Architects

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