Merge thanks you!
Ngā mihi nui. Huge thanks to Lifewise supporters’ overwhelming generosity towards Merge Café and community to continue transforming people’s lives.
Lifewise supporters are making a real difference to whānau like Richard who first connected with Merge Café, then moved towards wellness and then accessed his own home through Housing First, leaving behind housing vulnerability.
Our kind donors are part of a community spreading hope. Through their continued support for Merge, people like Richard are gaining acceptance and purpose. For some street whānau, it’s the first time in their life they feel acceptance for who they are. And our generous donors are a key part of that community of support.
With our donors’ help, new visitors to Merge can continue to meet peer support volunteers like Richard. Volunteers who have first-hand experience of life on the street and can offer a listening ear, encourage people to take positive steps towards wellness and put them in touch with the right services.
Richard is part of a growing number of people who have been able to access housing after weeks of being vulnerably housed or rough sleeping. People like Richard are able to heal and embrace health. They’re building their confidence and self-esteem. They’re volunteering, giving back, developing their work skills and gaining structure in their lives.
They can see a road ahead towards greater independence often starting with paid work peer support roles within Lifewise.
None of this would be possible without Lifewise donors. Your generosity counts!
Greg’s message to you
Greg is a member of Lifewise Merge Community. Support from Lifewise donors means that people like Greg from Auckland’s inner-city rough sleeping community can benefit from this mahi (work). This way, Merge becomes a doorway for people to access support and housing within Lifewise, the community and various agencies.
More importantly, Merge Cafe becomes a doorway for people to create their own solutions, and gaining access to real choices such as becoming a co-design expert or joining Lifewise Works. Lifewise Works is a social enterprise offering cleaning and moving services to social housing providers and new builds.
Greg says, “Merge gave me the extra help and coaching I’ve had to sort out many things in my life. I value the friendliness and sense of belonging.
“I thank those of you who support, Lifewise Works. For me, I needed something to do and wanted to earn extra money. I also have an eye on my future and want to get ahead. Having a part time casual cleaning job through Merge Community has worked for me, and I was able to progress to the outside world and get a full-time job!”
“Merge and Lifewise Works offered me so much support. I feel like I’m part of a family. In fact, I enjoy it so much that even after I got a full time job they couldn’t get rid of me,” he jests. “I’m still wanting to work with the crew when they need me. And I sometimes drop in and catch up.”
Your support of Lifewise means that Greg can continue to inspire others.
WHO YOU’RE SUPPORTING
Family gets their first proper home (first reported in NZ Herald)
A family of five find a decent home after four years of emergency accommodation.
Thanks to generous supporters, Lifewise has been able to step in to support a couple and their three small children move into their first proper home, just in time for the birth of their fourth child!
Patrick Te Huia and Prayze Roberts and their children, Titan (4), Ares (2) and Athena (1) had been ‘bouncing’ around a succession of emergency motels for the past few years, unable to afford private rentals.
There was constant fighting, drinking, yelling and swearing outside. “I just didn’t think it was safe to have them outside,” Te Huia says. “The kids would get scared.”
A social worker put them in touch with Shane Marshall from Lifewise’s Housing First initiative in Rotorua who quickly found them a 4-bedroom home with a spacious backyard.
Now, the family is “on top of the world”. Their new baby girl had a home to come to. “That’s really exciting.”
If you believe in providing stable homes for families, please consider a regular gift through Lifewise.
Are you up for a challenge?
Big ups to supporter Tim O’Farrell who cycled the 3000km Tour Aotearoa from the Cape Reinga to Bluff, raising over $4500 for Lifewise to reduce youth homelessness.
“Blimmin blustery Bluff! Despite the wind’s best efforts to push me right back up to Cape Reinga, the dog, the bike and the boy made it to Bluff – 20 days and 40 minutes after setting off,” says Tim.
We love the way Lifewise supporters have come up with creative and quirky ways to fundraise.
If you have an idea for a fundraiser, check out our Givealittle page.
We need your support
Action needed on mental health
In our January Supporter Survey, many Lifewise supporters expressed a desire to support mental health initiatives.
Sometimes in a state of desperation, young people are driven to dull their pain with drugs which turns into a vicious cycle. One reply in our survey was: “Many people with mental health and addictions have some difficult times growing up. We all need a second chance.”
Michael was just 12 when he first tried synthetic cannabis, a drug linked to 90 deaths in the last four years. After a wake-up call some years later, Michael found the love and support he needed to overcome addiction. But he’s still concerned about his “street brothers” who aren’t receiving the help they need.
“Sometimes I think to myself: ‘I’m going to see this person’s passed away’.”
Please help kick start this new collaborative project so we can strengthen the mental health of young people straight after they exit “detox”. We need more people like you who care.
Please consider a gift to support a new initiative to help people like Michael. Your regular gift will mean that they can successfully sustain the gains they have made.
Young people in crisis
Your gift means homeless young people are able to get good support from Lifewise’s Youth Housing Service instead of being put into adult emergency accommodation in motels.
Lifewise supporters have helped dozens of young people find a welcoming, safe roof over their heads with caring support during the past year of lockdowns, rather than being lumped into emergency accommodation with adults they don’t know. In these motels, with no back-up support, many young people say they’ve been traumatised.
Thanks to Lifewise supporters, young people have a safe breathing space to make long-term plans and get support to solve their problems.
Why do young people need a supported living environment? Carly from the Lifewise Youth Housing Team explains.