Big boost for women’s shel­ter

Ex­tra so­cial work help pro­vided

Rotorua Weekender - - News -

Ro­torua’s shel­ter for home­less women and chil­dren has hit the ground run­ning this new year af­ter be­ing given $50,000.

Baytrust ap­proved the grant, made to Vi­sions of a Help­ing Hand Char­i­ta­ble Trust Ro­torua, just be­fore Christ­mas.

The grant will be used to pro­vide ex­tra so­cial work sup­port through­out 2019. Vi­sions ad­min­is­tra­tor Ju­lia Fono­tia says the money will be used to help pay for a sec­ond so­cial worker who is now based at the Tarewa Rd shel­ter, to help im­prove women’s par­ent­ing and life skills so they can move into a place of their own.

She says the so­cial work­ers walk along­side the women and give what­ever help is needed, which could in­clude or­gan­is­ing safe car seats for ba­bies, teach­ing cook­ing skills, or help­ing sign up for drug and al­co­hol re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“It might be some­thing as sim­ple as help­ing them get a driver’s li­cence so they don’t rack up fines or get ar­rested. Or help­ing them ob­tain iden­ti­fi­ca­tion like a birth cer­tifi­cate,” she says. “It is easy to pro­vide shel­ter, food and other ba­sic needs.

“How­ever, the wrap-around ser­vices and ed­u­ca­tion our so­cial work­ers pro­vide our wa¯ hine is what can in­spire them to make pos­i­tive long-last­ing changes for their wha¯ nau.”

The Tarewa Rd shel­ter opened in Novem­ber 2017 and is a for­mer hos­tel con­tain­ing 68 beds and 18 in­di­vid­ual rooms.

Julie says the fa­cil­ity is “al­ways full” and women and their chil­dren might stay any­where from a few nights to a few months un­til they can get back on their feet.

“Women be­come home­less for a wide va­ri­ety of rea­sons, so there’s never one sim­ple so­lu­tion.

“This grant from Baytrust is amaz­ing. It re­ally gives us free­dom to use it where we need to be­cause it’s not tagged to a par­tic­u­lar project or item.

“Baytrust has re­ally be­lieved in us from the start. They were our very first fun­der and they gave us hope we were go­ing to get through and be able to suc­ceed.

“We are most grate­ful for their on­go­ing sup­port.”

Baytrust chief ex­ec­u­tive Alas­tair Rhodes says strength­en­ing wha¯ nau is a key pri­or­ity for the or­gan­i­sa­tion which is com­mit­ted to help­ing make the Bay of Plenty ‘the great­est place to be’.

“There’s a wide va­ri­ety of rea­sons why some peo­ple find them­selves with­out a roof over their heads, and Vi­sions of a Help­ing Hand Char­i­ta­ble Trust Ro­torua is do­ing a won­der­ful job of help­ing peo­ple im­prove their lives.

“Pro­tect­ing tamariki, and sup­port­ing peo­ple to reach their full po­ten­tial, will ul­ti­mately lead to a stronger com­mu­nity that ben­e­fits us all.”

Photo / Sup­plied

Sup­port worker Sheen with the trust’s van.

Photo / Sup­plied

Vi­sions ad­min­is­tra­tor Ju­lia Fono­tia.

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