Supporting your Community

Ray Tuffin, Newtown Community Liaison Officer for the Wellington City Council shares his experience supporting a member of the local community into social housing:

“I have been supporting an elderly gentleman into social housing. He had been living in a local backpackers which was well beyond his means. While supporting him through the process I started to learn about the conditions he was living under. He was offered a City Housing apartment and I questioned him around shifting his belongs to the new apartment. He told me that all he had was three bags of clothes, a mattress and a rice cooker.

I was shocked and didn’t know where to go for the support he required. I approached Saint Vincent De Paul and was told that they would support where possible. An appointment was made with Kim, Newtown’s Social Worker where we sat around a table to discuss this gentleman’s circumstances. Kim was caring, cheerful and provided the ability for the gentleman to keep his self-esteem which is so important. Kim reviewed his financial situation, offered budgeting support, and made a list of furniture, bedding, cooking instruments that he needed. The experience with Kim empowered the gentleman with hope and confidence.

Our second visit with Kim was the selection process for the various items needed for the move into the new apartment.  Again, the kindness and respect Vinnies provided made a difficult task for those in need a whole lot easier. Kim went the extra mile and took the gentleman to another store to make sure he got everything he needed and the delivery team finished off showing our man kindness and respect at all times.

This experience has provided me with a new understanding of the work Saint Vincent De Paul do for our communities. They are wonderful team providing great support for those in need, well done.”

By Ray Tuffin | Community Liaison Officer Wellington City Council


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Photo: Newtown Wellington NZ 1991, by Derek Smith and Maclean Barke

Photo: Newtown Wellington NZ 1991, by Derek Smith and Maclean Barke