Amid the COVID-19 alert Level 4 restrictions in Auckland, The Tindall Foundation and The Warehouse Group, have donated $9,500 in PPE and more than $15,000 in supplies, such as toiletries, period products, grocery items and stationery and games.
These funds and supplies will help rangatahi who have been homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, and those who Lifewise has housed during the NZ Covid lockdowns.
Peter Shimwell, Lifewise Community Services Manager, says, “These supplies couldn’t have come at a better time. The Level 4 lockdown is slowing the spread of the virus. But, unfortunately, it also affects the speed and agility with which our teams can quickly support rangatahi to avoid long term homelessness. So having one less thing to worry about — PPE and household supplies — is beneficial indeed.”
Why is a speedy response so necessary? Peter explains: “If we don’t house young people and provide wraparound support the moment they reach out, they remain at risk of staying in a dangerous situation, where the trauma of homelessness is exacerbated, and we risk losing contact with them. That is why immediate accommodation along with wraparound support is so crucial to protect rangatahi from homelessness.”
Peter shares this example as an illustration: “Recently a 16-year-old, who was experiencing homelessness for the last three weeks, reached out to us for support. We were able to accept her within moments, and had her housed within the hour (the time it took to get her transported from the shore where she had been couch-surfing to the city). Thus, for this young woman, we have a chance of reducing the long-term harm that experiences of homelessness cause and thus alleviate her distress.”
You can help, too!
Lifewise is currently calling out for support for donations. There is a growing need for support staff to help young people caught out by the latest lockdown. These young people could be trapped in a domestic violence situation, physical abuse or worse, and have no stable place to call home. Please donate at www.lifewise.org.nz