Missioner addresses the ERC
Today (30 April 2020), I was honoured to address the Epidemic Response Committee about the impact of COVID-19 on our society and the Mission’s related work. Chaired by Simon Bridges and with a range of politicians, the ERC guides the government’s continued response to the pandemic.
Alongside Sir Peter Gluckman, Dr Ange Jury (National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges), Jacqui Graham (The Wise Group) and Andrew Coster (Commissioner of Police), I told my view of the COVID-19 world.
The narrative today was one of people who are suffering and the many more who will bear the brunt of COVID-19’s impact in the months to come. With that was a strong sense of hope and an acknowledgement of New Zealanders’ heart-warming generosity. Kindness was a word that came up more than once.
The ERC heard of the harsh reality of COVID-19 for many New Zealanders. I shared how the Mission and other agencies have rapidly increased our provision of food parcels for people in need. Some of these people have never asked for support before. Now here they are – some after many years of employment – suddenly needing to ask for food that will feed their family. Dr Gluckman talked of the likely rise in depression as a result of COVID-19’s impact while Dr Jury said her organisation expects to see a wave of women seeking support due to family violence when the lockdown restrictions are removed.
Amongst the stories of hardship, the ERC also heard of the generosity, optimism and hope in this altered world. Each of us shared stories of collaboration, new partnerships, efficiencies and of new-found trust amongst agencies and government. We spoke of a national desire to address and help solve the so called ‘wicked problems’ of poverty, mental health issues and family violence. More than ever before, there is a renewed energy to focusing on these areas. That’s incredibly heartening for the many people across the country who already dedicate their time to creating a better future New Zealand.
Addressing the ERC today was a reminder for me that in spite of COVID-19’s incredibly harsh and wide-reaching effects, together this country of 5 million can create a better future. He waka eke noa.
CEO/ City Missioner
Homeless Outreach and Support Service
Our team continues to support people who are homeless and vulnerably housed by connecting with them to check on their health and well-being, as well as provide them with essential items such as food and clothing. This is being done by phone and in person, observing all of the government’s social distance and safety protocols. This means visits are limited to 15 minutes and at a distance of 2 metres. We are also offering as many people as possible temporary accommodation in motels so they too can ‘stay at home’ like we have all been instructed to do.
We continue to run our two transitional housing units, James Liston Hostel and Te Whare Hīnātore. We have made changes to service protocols to ensure the safety of every person using those services. This includes immediately reducing the number of people onsite by moving some residents to other suitable venues.
Our detox centre is currently closed, and the facility is being used to provide temporary accommodation.
Haeata Food Service
During lockdown, Haeata will no longer offer hot meals nor a place for our street whānau to congregate – that’s because shared food and densely packed spaces are now deemed unsafe.
Instead, from 11am – 1pm daily, we are providing street whānau with a takeaway bag filled with nutritious, filling food to last for one day.
Our community activities (such as clay classes, movie sessions, etc) have stopped.
We know Haeata is an important place of connection and safety for our street whānau, so we have not made these changes lightly. However at the moment, these changes will enable us to keep everyone safe, whilst still exploring new ways to engage and offer connection to our street whānau.
Family Food Parcels
Our distribution centre will be closed on ANZAC DAY and will reopen again on Tuesday 28th April at 9.00am.
Family food parcels can be collected from the following locations:
Mission’s Distribution Centre in Grafton. Monday – Friday 9.00am – 3.00pm.
Nga Whare Waatea Marae, Favona Monday – Friday 10.00am – 2.00pm
All consultations are now completed by phone. If you need a food parcel, please call 09 303 9200 to arrange for a phone consultation. You will be given a time to collect the parcel and instructed how to pick up.
Also those in Auckland who are unable to afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks can call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. Anyone who meets the government’s eligibility criteria will be couriered a welfare parcel containing items such as dry goods like pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats, and basic toiletries.
Furniture and Household Goods
All non-urgent deliveries of furniture and household goods are now on hold. If you have an urgent need, please call 09 303 9200.
Calder Medical Centre
The Auckland City Mission’s medical centre, Calder Centre, now provides consultations in person, or by phone or video.
Consultations which take place in person must be pre-booked and are limited to COVID-19 testing and flu vaccinations.
To make a face to face, phone or video appointment, please phone 09 303 9207. Please do not come to the Calder Centre without having made an appointment as you will be turned away.
If your consultation can’t be completed over the phone, you will need to come to the Mission (23 Union Street) and will be given instructions at the front of the building. Please follow those instructions carefully.
The Calder Centre team is still here to support and care for our patients’ health so please continue to make and keep appointments.
If you have any questions at all, please contact the medical receptionist 09 303 9207.
The pharmacy continues to operate as an essential service. The door is shut and the pharmacist communicates with the Calder Centre staff by phone to ensure patients receive the medication they need.
The Mission is very grateful for donations in these difficult times – thank you. The change to our services has created additional cost and we are anticipating a sharp rise in the number of people needing our services.
- Please visit aucklandcitymission.org.nz and press the Donate button.
- Online, with the Mission’s bank account 1230 11 0520064 00
- By cheque, addressed to Auckland City Mission, PO Box 5352, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142
Due to the level 4 lockdown, and to keep the Mission’s centres available for clients only, unfortunately we can’t currently accept drop-off donations of:
- Second-hand goods such as clothes, furniture and household goods.
OP SHOPS CHANGES
The Mission’s Op Shops are currently closed.
Please do not leave second-hand goods at the Op Shops as they will not be collected.
Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times.
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