Behind the scenes

Meet some of the Mission team

Any day at the Mission there is much to do and much to be done. Here are some of the team doing the mahi.

Meet Injara

Injara has been with the Mission for over a year. In her role with the Food Security team, she works with people needing food parcels who, quite simply, don’t have enough income to ensure their family is well fed. The team assesses people’s needs by phone, and the person then comes to collect their food at an appointed time.

8.00am Every day, my colleagues and I start with karakia and waiata (prayer and song), which sets us up well to stay positive and upbeat throughout the day.

8.30am Then it’s onto the phone, where I conduct phone assessments which can take from 5 to 20 minutes each depending on the need. Often our conversation is not just about getting a food parcel. I will talk to MSD if need be (we are lucky enough to have a full-time MSD employee on site so that helps break down any potential barriers to access). I can also offer support with any cultural dietary requirements, their children’s and babies’ needs, and housing issues.
If they have pets, I try to help because pets need food too. Sometimes it is about them having someone to talk to at the end of the phone while we talk about their day and the issues they are facing.

1.00pm I try to make sure I have lunch and catch up with my colleagues. It’s important that we check in regularly with each other as it can be very emotional because we are often the last option for people. Many people we connect with are demoralised and exhausted by the time they speak with us, so it can be taxing hearing many harrowing stories throughout the day.

1.30pm Back into it! More phone appointments and passing out food. Some people come in weekly as there is simply not enough household income to pay for food. Other people we only see once or twice until they get back on their feet.

3.30pm I help pack up and put the food away as we have given out all the food parcels for the day by now. After that I check my messages and make appointments before the following day.

4.00pm I have a team debrief and a quick check in to make sure everyone is okay and see how we are all feeling. My team is amazing and we all really support each other so that we can be positive and welcoming to every person we speak to.

At the end of every day, I hope that our clients have experienced real mana- enhancing support. I feel like it’s our job to help them to believe in themselves and show them there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Because there’s someone out there that believes in them. That’s me!

Meet Gilli

Gilli Sinclair has been Manager of Auckland City Mission’s Health Services since January this year. Her role involves overseeing the Mission’s Calder Health Centre and Withdrawal (Detox) Service. Gilli has a background in mental health, funding across multiple sectors and various management roles.

We asked Gilli to tell us why she enjoys working for Auckland City Mission.

I love working here. I like the staff and the challenge of the work. It’s the opportunity to do things differently and better. I like that every day we can come along and make a difference for somebody.

The staff who work in the Calder Health Centre and the Detox service are all very dedicated to looking after street whānau and other people needing support. Each of them brings a really great perspective. Our staff are all really focused on a style of trauma-informed care that separates us from other GP practices. They have a deep understanding of the needs and behaviours of people.

What are you most looking forward to about HomeGround?

Thanks to our donors, we will be setting up a state-of-the-art health service. That makes a huge difference to how people feel when they walk in. The quality of the facilities at

HomeGround makes a positive statement about how we believe people should be treated.

Our clinic will stand proudly alongside any other GP service – we can’t do that without our donors.

The service we provide is more costly to run than a traditional GP because there are a lot more wraparound services involved. For example, we might personally escort someone to hospital to make sure that they keep their appointment, can complete all of the forms and get the specialist help they need. If we leave, they might leave, and there are only so many times you can be a ‘no-show’ for a hospital appointment before you miss out. So, while it’s more expensive to do, it means people engage with the specialist services they need. Having someone there to support you is a powerful thing.