“When someone calls and starts sobbing, we make every effort to see them that day. Whether or not we can offer accommodation, we make a heart connection, show we care, point them in another direction and stay in touch.” Danielle Bergin, Manager
is based on empowerment principles of an internationally recognised indigenous framework, The Circle of Courage (Brendtro, Brokenleg and Van Bockern, 1990, 2002). This framework restores a sense of belonging to whānau, enables people to master life skills and coping strategies, creates
a plan that will lead to independence, and encourages generosity through whānau helping whānau and people giving back to community. Applying its relational, holistic and strengths- based approach, our residential programme is tailored to individual/ whānau needs. It aims to:
- Assess what parts of a person’s/ whānau life is broken (such as health concerns, relationship problems, financial difficulties) and create an individualised forward-looking plan that whānau begin to action while in the shelter;
- Enhance life skills (such as cooking, shopping, budgeting, parenting, finding a rental house); Develop coping strategies for dealing with problems (such as anxiety, isolation, addiction and co-dependency);
- Help whānau to understand why they are homeless and how to climb out of the poverty trap (including accessing benefit entitlements and considering work and education options);
- Assist whānau into warm safe appropriate and sustainable housing and teach them how
to go about this process;
Prevent future homelessness
(by raising awareness, changing behaviours, developing connections to whānau and other social networks, and turning aspirations in achievable goals).
At our shelter, every day is different but there’s a routine our whānau can begin to rely on. In the morning we monitor and supervise daily plans, so whānau know what they’re doing, feel motivated to take action, and have the essentials (such as kids going to school with lunch). We respond to particular needs, such as attending a medical appointment, a meeting with a Work and Income New Zealand case manager, a trip to a budgeting service, or viewing a rental property. We teach the basics of savvy shopping and healthy eating on a budget.
We run an innovative animal-assisted learning programme. Research shows the benefits of this kind of learning, especially for children and adults who have experienced significant trauma. The programme builds trust and esteem, shows how to care
and to work as a team, and teaches personal responsibility and leadership skills. It’s not only healing but also fun and a way for our whānau to do something special together and enjoy one another.
We affirm the identities of the people who seek our assistance, as defined by them, and seek to exercise cultural integrity in all the services we provide, including at a governance level. Our commitment to Te Tiriti ō Waitangi reminds us to partner with whānau and work with them in ways that protect their interests and enable them to participate fully, so they can determine the direction of their lives.
We foster whānau helping whānau
or a tuakana-teina relationship, whereby whānau members pass on the knowledge and skills they learn
in our residential programme to other members of their family. The length of stay in the shelter can vary, depending on whānau needs, circumstances and available housing. Individuals and whānau leave our shelter knowing that our door is always open and someone cares. We follow-up to ensure a smooth transition and where possible maintain contact.