Winter time sharply puts into focus the lack of affordable housing for the vulnerable and side-lined in our community.
Being one of the largest community housing providers in Christchurch, the Methodist Mission knows how hard it is for families on low incomes to find the stable housing situations that they desperately need. We also know what an incredible difference a warm, secure and affordable home can make to a family at risk of being homeless.
Providing housing is not always easy. Building new houses is expensive. Approaching landlords about renting their property for an 'at-risk' family is often met with a firm rebuttal. Despite news stories showing people sleeping in cars and on the streets, some in the community question why we help.
But housing continues to be a priority for the Christchurch Methodist Mission because every day we see the difference that a warm, stable home gives a family. We see improvements in parents and children's physical health and their sense of wellbeing. Once housing is no longer a source of anxiety, parents are able to address other issues in their lives. For some it has meant they have been able to gain employment, for others it has provided an opportunity to work on their parenting skills or deal with financial issues.
This winter, the Methodist Mission is helping those in need of a place to call home.
In Christchurch, the new Housing First initiative has begun and over the next two years, over 100 people who have been sleeping long-term on our streets will be supported into housing. This is an exciting multi-agency collaboration being led by the Methodist Mission.
The Methodist Mission is also providing emergency housing for up to 14 Christchurch families at any one time. This initiative also supports them to find and get settled into permanent housing.
Work has started on our new housing community in Hornby. By the end of July, three families who have been impacted by mental health issues will have a brand new, warm home where they are able to live long-term.
Pope Paul VI famously said "Never reach out your hand unless you are willing to extend an arm". The housing crisis that continues to grip our community looms large and requires that we all extend our arms in response. With your support, the Methodist Mission will do all it can to help those left out in the cold this winter.
Please give to our Winter Appeal today. Your response will make a difference.