Whare Tauranga families have new homes

The first families to be homed in Whare Tauranga are moving out after securing permanent accommodation.

The Whare 4 Whanau Project, or Whare Tauranga - A Place to Call Home - was set up in June to accommodate homeless families in the Tauranga region for a short time.

The venture between Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services and Merivale Community Centre has already had four families through its doors.

Executive director Tommy Wilson said today two families would graduate from living at the residence so the organisations and families would celebrate.

Mr Wilson said a family, which had gone through Whare Tauranga, had moved into a private residence in July, while three others had been able to secure Housing New Zealand houses in Tauranga and Hastings.

Mr Wilson said the point of Whare Tauranga was to help people through their homelessness and get them back out the doors and on their own two feet.

"We basically give them a warrant of fitness and work with them on helping them get their own place.

"Food parcels and emergency shelters aren't going to fix the homeless problem in Tauranga."

Mr Wilson said once a family had come into Whare Tauranga they would take part in different programmes.

These included cooking, financial management, household management, weaving and card making, he said.

When the centre opened, Mr Wilson said it would take up to three months to work on a family and apply their social services "to fix up the broken pieces".

The long-term plan was to deal with the city's ongoing crisis - the organisation had a contract for 250 interventions, he said.

Mr Wilson said there would be a short break for maintenance before bringing in new homeless families to work with.

What does Te Tuinga Whanau do:

Te Tuinga Whanau offers a wide range of social work interventions to everyone, regardless of culture or ethnicity. People generally do not have to make an appointment to meet with a social worker at the office between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Social workers who are experienced advocates and knowledgeable in the processes of statutory agencies walk alongside families/individuals to help them achieve their goals.