Over the past year, hundreds of people have come through the doors of Te Wāhi Āwhina seeking support for a manner of things including housing, employment, mental health, and wellbeing.
Te Wāhi Āwhina, which is located next to the Opera House across from Te Aro Park, opened its doors for the first time in May 2021 as part of the Pōneke Promise – a joint commitment to improving safety in the central city.
Previously, people needing support had to travel around the city and neighbouring suburbs to figure out which providers would be best to support their needs. In many cases, people would be met with lengthy waiting times, only to be directed elsewhere.
With Te Wāhi Āwhina, service seekers can find out their options and the team can provide access to what they need. The Kaiāwhina, Taina Puloka and Sa Manu, are ready to help with things like securing appointments and communication between organisations.
“As Kaiāwhina, our key role is to listen to people, advise on options that may be suitable, then action some tangible steps for that person," says Taina. "It’s not unusual for people to come in overwhelmed or unsure of what help they can get. Giving people some time, not making them feel rushed and letting them know what we’re here for is key."
Over the last 12 months the top requests were accommodation, employment and connecting with mental health and wellbeing support services.