An investment in housing is an investment in family stability, children's success, and the economic health of our entire nation.

Ned Lamont

As we write this, we have 3 staff isolating and 11 of our resident families tested positive and isolated at home. Much of what is needed to help a family survive are the very basics of shelter, food, clothing. Our staff work hard to meet this need while working to strengthen the whole family unit. 

A day in the life of a family living at De Paul House.

Alison* has 3 children. She has had a chaotic life which resulted in her family living in temporary motel accommodation for a lengthy stay. She came to De Paul House suffering depression and feeling hopeless. She wants to make a change for her children. 

7.30am Alison gets the 2 older children ready to walk to the local school. 

9.30am Her 3-year-old Sam is impatient to get out the door and go to the Early Childhood centre. He loves the sandpit and riding the bikes. 

Alison finally gets some time for herself.

10am She gets a text to say the weekly fresh fruit and vegetables have arrived from Kiwi Harvest, a supermarket food rescue service. When she collects the vegetables, Melissa at reception, offers her meat and milk, that had also been donated.

11am She has a call from her social worker, checking in and updating some information needed for her housing application to Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing NZ). Her social worker reassures her that she will eventually be rehoused and supported to furnish the house. She is saving $40 a week to help with these costs with a savings scheme offered by De Paul House. 

12pm Alison collects Sam, who is happy but very tired after a busy, fun morning with the Early Childhood staff. When Sam first arrived at the centre, he was very unsettled and was unhappy when his mother left him. He did not want to join the other children for morning tea or mat time and reacted to loud noises. He is now blossoming into a happy independent learner who enjoys trying out new things. 

Sam has a nap after enjoying the fresh fruit and sandwiches. (For most of our families, fruit is a luxury!)

2pm Moana, our Learning Centre coordinator, calls Alison to invite her to the online computer class starting next week. She offers Alison a free plug-in modem and access to increased data, provided by Skinny and the 20/20 Trust. This data has ensured all families stay connected and supports the children to do online schooling and homework. 

3pm Sam and Alison walk together to meet his sisters returning from school.

4pm Social worker meets with Alison to collect clothing for her growing children. She also chooses some toys and books for the children. Social worker offers the family a free pass to the Zoo, donated by a generous company.

5pm Laughter comes from the playground; the girls have made friends with 3 other children.

9pm Children all sleeping, Alison has a call from the Night Staff, checking in to see how she is and if there is anything she needs. She mentions the children brought home a costly school stationery list. She is reassured that they will inform her social worker who will contact her to help with a grant from the Youth Education Trust to cover the costs. 

De Paul House Quick Facts 2021

570 food parcels
an increase of 50% from 2020

646 calls for support 

109 families rehoused 

157 adults and 256 children

45 transitional units
increased accommodation from 24 in 2020

11 social housing properties
offering long term, affordable rentals to families 

2021 saw families further unravel with social issues becoming more challenging. 

De Paul House is fortunate to have an amazing community of caring people who help provide the donated goods that support our families with the basics. 

We hope you will join us in being part of the solution to the housing challenges and giving families a solid foundation to rebuild their lives.