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On Friday 13 May, Lifewise celebrated the blessing and opening of our brand new Lifewise Youth Housing units.

The new site contains ten units. Nine units will be for rangatahi, and one will be used for on-site support and services. These youth housing units are purpose-built for rangatahi, creating a safe, healing and supportive community.

Lifewise Chief Executive Murray Reade said, “It’s important that we put our rangatahi into places like this new site surrounded by love, aroha, and hope.” These attributes of love, aroha and hope are key principles within our Lifewise Youth Housing team and embedded into our service delivery.

Currently, the units are empty of furniture, awaiting the rangatahi who will be making them their homes later this month. Each young person moving in will decide how they want to organise and decorate their rooms with the help of their Lifewise Youth Support Workers.

Some of the young people moving into the new building were at the blessing and opening ceremony.

Youth Team at St Lukes

Photo: Lifewise Youth Team outside new Youth Housing units

The excitement from the young people radiated as they discussed among themselves which room they wanted, where to put their bed, and how many house plants they’d like.

Hon Marama Davidson was present at the opening. As Associate Minister for Housing, her presence and mahi at the government level in support of Lifewise and housing solutions is admirable.

Minister Davidson spoke about the importance of listening to our young people. “The way we have been doing things has not worked. We have a responsibility to do this differently. That is why it is important our rangatahi are the leaders, showing us the way,” she says. We couldn’t agree more.

Photo of Minister Davidson with youth team

Photo: Aaron Hendry – Lifewise Youth Housing Team Leader, Bianca Johanson – Lifewise Youth Strategy & Development Coordinator, Hon Marama Davidson.

Photo: Outside photo of units

This Youth Housing project has been three years in the making, and we are thrilled to have it opened, providing a safe space and home for rangatahi. We look forward to the journey ahead and thank every person and organisation who made this happen, especially Kāinga Ora and the Ministry of Social Development.

Lifewise Youth Housing provides housing and support for rangatahi aged 16-24 who don’t have a stable or safe place to live. If you would like to donate to Lifewise Youth Housing, click donate today.

Photo of the Lifewise Youth Housing Unit

Photo: Inside photo of one of the new Youth Housing units