It is also increasing the safety of Te Aro Park and surrounding areas through an approach centred on manaaki and aroha.
Opposite Te Aro Park and next to the Opera House, Te Wāhi Āwhina opened in May 2021 and is part of the Pōneke Promise – a coordinated, community-driven initiative creating collective change to keep our city safe.
This partnership approach is reflected at Te Wāhi Āwhina, where people who drop in are connected to a support service that meets their specific need.
The Police and agencies such as the Ministry of Social Development, DCM, the Salvation Army, Māori Wardens and Wellington Community Law have a regular presence in the space, and love having a central base where they can bring their services to the people who need them.
Pastor Joe, from the Salvation Army, says in the short time since Te Wāhi Āwhina opened, there have been numerous success stories, with people accessing food support, housing, and advocacy through the base.
“It’s really awesome having a space where everyone can link up and work together. It’s a place where the community can drop-in, get information or be referred to services – but most importantly, it’s a place where they can come for a cup of tea, a kōrero, and feel heard and supported.”