The Auckland City Mission, which provides specialised health and social services to marginalised Aucklanders, is running a unique campaign through Rapp where it’s “cyber-squatting” on the .nz homepages of dozens of New Zealand organisations in an effort to raise awareness about homelessness in the city and increase donations.
The initiative, which involved uploading imagery and information about rough sleeping and the mission’s services onto organisations’ unused .nz homepages, is aimed at sparking important conversations around the growing number of homeless people in Auckland, missioner Diane Robertson says.
“We wanted a campaign that was going to make people sit up and take notice of an important issue, which is why we have decided to use these organisations’ unused ‘homes’ for those who need them most - the homeless.”
The Mission’s annual rough sleeper count shows a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping on Auckland’s streets – a figure which has more than doubled in the past two years, a release says.
“The largest population of rough sleepers is in the Auckland CBD, though there are growing numbers in other parts of the city as well,” says Robertson.
She says she has also noticed an increase in the number of people sleeping in vehicles and other temporary, sub-standard accommodation.
Rapp managing director Robert Limb says the campaign was designed as an innovative way to raise awareness, encourage talkability, and hopefully drive donations from a new audience for this important issue.
Those wishing to remove the mission’s content from their .nz homepages will simply be required to click an icon on their homepage, at which point the “squatter” will be removed, the release says.
In the past 12 months, the mission has had 45,000 visits to the homeless community centre and has provided 220,000 hot drinks. In the year to June 30, 2015, the Mission has housed 132 people.
The mission’s most recent rough sleeper count, conducted in October 2014, found 147 people sleeping rough within three kilometres of the Sky Tower, up from 68 the year before. This figure does not include individuals and families sleeping in cars, shelters and other temporary accommodation.
Auckland City Mission
Auckland City Missioner: Dame Diane Robertson
Team Leader – Fundraising: Alexis Sawyers
Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton
Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick
Digital Creative Director: Haydn Kerr
Creative Director: Jeff Harris
Art Director: James Conner
Copywriter: Christie Cooper
Account Executive: Harriet Arbuckle
Digital Operations Manager: Liz Knox
Lead Developer: Joe Left
Lead Designer: Jason Vertongen
Studio Producer: Marcel de Ruiter
Photographer: Tom Roberton, The Collective Force
Photography producer: Jason Jones