A collaboration between the Christchurch Methodist Mission and the Crossroads (Marlborough) Charitable Trust will provide emergency housing for up to 100 households per year.
The CMM/Crossroads initiative has been chosen by the Ministry of Social Development as the preferred emergency housing service in Blenheim. This is in response to the scare supply of affordable housing in the community. This critical lack of housing in Blenheim has seen the Government spend nearly $3,000 a day in emergency grants to house people in local motels.
Crossroads have seen first-hand the sheer demand that exists in the community. The trust operates John's Kitchen, a drop in centre that provides meals and a wide range of support services in Blenheim. Approximately 60% of the individuals and families served at John's Kitchen do not have secure housing. Since the start of the year there have been an increasing number of families presenting for help with housing. This has been due to the sharp increase in the cost of rental accommodation and families no longer being able to afford their housing.
Individuals and families will be able to stay in the emergency housing for up to 12 weeks. During this time a Tenancy Housing Specialist will work with them to secure a long-term tenancy and ensure they have the resources to move from emergency accommodation into a permanent home. Once there they will also receive up to 12 weeks of follow-up support from a social worker that will primarily focus on the issues that led to homelessness. The social worker will also be able to link individuals and families as needed to local health and social service providers, in particular addiction or mental health services.
Running this emergency housing service in conjunction with Crossroads and MSD reaffirms CMM's commitment to providing warm, affordable and secure housing to those in need. It also reaffirms CMM's commitment to the Marlborough area as the social service arm of the Methodist Church of New Zealand covering Canterbury, Nelson, West Coast and Marlborough.