When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

      MARCUS AURELIUS

COVID-19 STORIES
Michael
, a caring father looking after his three children aged between 18 months and 5 years moved in the week before the latest lockdown. They had recently returned from Australia where they had been living and working since 2008. He met his wife and married. In March, Michael lost his job because of Covid19.  As a NZ citizen he was not entitled to any Australian government assistance. He had no choice but to return to NZ. Distressingly his wife, who is not on a NZ passport and needs a visa has had to remain in Australia, separated from her children. This is a very difficult situation as Immigration NZ is not processing any visas currently and they have been told it could be up to 9 months before they can be reunited!

Michael was delighted to move into a bright, clean and welcoming unit with space for the children to play after living in a very small motel room for 9 weeks. Motels with no play area for children, limited cooking facilities and a mix of many transient adults are not a safe, family friendly environment. 

LOCKDOWN CHALLENGES
During the first lockdown we received no re-housing offers for our resident families, meaning longer stays of 6-11 months for most. However, we have had 17 families move out over the past 8 weeks including four during this latest lockdown. This is a huge logistical exercise organising household packs, furniture, and removal companies. Managing the COVID-19 restrictions has put an extra financial burden on De Paul House as we need to do commercial cleaning between tenancies to give families a sense of confidence in their personal safety, purchase gloves, masks and also supply them to our families. Without our wonderful team of volunteers able to come in, more work is falling on staff. At the end of August we had 45 adults and 88 children in residence.

A LONG WAIT…
Sharon
and her six children spent 11 months at De Paul House and were so appreciative of finally being offered a house in July.  We were able to assist with beds, kitchenware and bedding to set up house. 

“I can’t thank you enough. It has been a long journey, but we are grateful for having
De Paul House provide a roof over our heads at a time when we faced being homeless. I never ever imagined this could happen to me. Our new home is a fresh start for us all.”
 

RENOVATIONS
We are in the middle of renovations at our Onewa Road site, converting three small bedsit style units into two self-contained one bedroom units.
This work has continued under level 3 with stringent sign-in and mask wearing procedures for the contractors.

SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

We recently invested in two commercial freezers so that we could respond to offers of meat and frozen goods. As often happens at De Paul House, once we got the freezers almost immediately offers of meat were received. Birkenhead Rotary have just donated groceries and the local Highbury Butchery donated fresh chickens and mince packs. Amazing!

These are challenging times.

We hope you, your family and friends are managing and keeping safe. Please help us to continue providing a welcoming, safe haven for families facing housing crisis. The  security of your own ‘home’ is paramount to keeping and feeling safe and never more so than now.  We need and value your support.