“A compassionate city is an uncomfortable city! A city that is uncomfortable when anyone is homeless or hungry. Uncomfortable if every child isn’t loved and given rich opportunities to grow and thrive. Uncomfortable when as a community we don’t treat our neighbours as we would wish to be treated.” Karen Armstrong, Founder of the global movement, The Charter for Compassion.

What a start to 2023!  De Paul House has experienced floods, cyclones, electricity supply cuts and the unexpected death of a valued team member, Taniela Mataele. We know that all over the North Island, Kiwis are struggling, we are not alone in this.

Imagine how these events would feel if you had the added misfortune of being homeless. We acknowledge the extreme vulnerability of whānau living in our transitional housing and dealing with these cataclysmic events. De Paul House has once again reaffirmed the importance of connection; gathering together to share with compassion, kindness and kai helps to alleviate some of the fear and uncertainty experienced by all.  

Rapid Relief Team volunteers put on a breakfast BBQ for family and staff, a much needed support following the flooding of our Early Childhood Centre and furniture storage. 

Our staff hosted BBQs at each of our three larger sites. The families really loved the support and connection, especially helpful for those without electricity.  

Community Learning Centre hosted a census event. We shared food with families, census staff and De Paul House social workers, helping families to understand the need for accurate data in order to allocate resources, such as roading, health, schooling. All the things that make New Zealand communities strong. Our families are often not represented in census statistics.

A community of caring, support us with practical deliveries of food. The Good Bitches Baking and Kiwi Harvest deliver every week, without fail. We acknowledge the many individuals and businesses who donate regularly directly to our food bank and with financial support.

The learning from hosting these events is how much families welcome the support and feeling of belonging in a community. This connects isolated families, not just to De Paul House’s community but builds confidence to participate in the wider community. Shared food brings everyone together. 

We have received and are responding to distressing calls from families whose rentals have been red stickered. We expect this to increase in the coming months. 

Naomi* and her children left their red stickered home with very little. They were housed in a hotel with no cooking facilities. After two weeks, we rehoused them in a two-bedroom home. “Everything is perfect. The kids are resting, and it was so good to be able to cook them something for lunch. We are all so happy to feel safe and secure.” *Not her real name. 

Taniela Mataele

Taniela had responsibility for managing our accommodation units. He was big hearted and was well respected by our families, evidenced by the many “Thank You” cards on the wall of his office. His heart for community included many in his South Auckland community. At a recent resident BBQ, we witnessed the high regard he was held in.

He will be missed. 

As many communities around New Zealand deal with the aftermath of the devastation, we are seeing people, strangers, businesses, pulling together to offer practical support.

De Paul House has always greatly appreciated the genuine care we receive from you – our donors and supporters. Your support enables us to not only provide housing, but also the community support and connections that help families succeed. 

De Paul House in 2023

93 housing enquiries

8 families housed

136 children and 75 adults in residence