De Paul House see more working families in their emergency housing

Oct 4, 2017 | Member profiles

In this article from North Shore Times De Paul house housing co-ordinator Lesley Farmer said the statistic pointed to a new “working poor” trend in Auckland city, even in the relatively affluent North Shore.

“Our families are not on drugs, they are not unemployed, and they are not recently out of prison. We need a paradigm shift,” Farmer said.

De Paul House hosted an Awareness Day event, to reflect on the growing modern need for emergency housing.

“I ask you, how long would you last if you lost your job and had to pay rent, bills and food. A few months – or weeks?”

The term “working poor” describes families on minimum wage who are trapped between not being able to afford private rentals and not having access to Housing New Zealand, she said.LAINE MOGER/STUFF (photo in October 5 newsletter)

The 400th anniversary of the patron saint, St Vincent de Paul fell on September 27.

De Paul House in Birkenhead responds to the needs of homeless families, providing emergency housing and support.

Last week, staff members, volunteers and partners of De Paul House celebrated the 400th anniversary of its patron saint, St Vincent de Paul with an Awareness Day, September 27.

The annual event is a reflection of the modern importance of the work of the saint did, work which is still relevant today.

In June this year, De Paul House opened new facilities to accommodate 23 families, almost doubling its capacity from 12 families last year.

In the last three months, De Paul House has re-housed 144 individuals or 37 families.

General manager Jan Rutledge said while numbers can never capture the story behind these families and the despair of their situation, it does speak to the overwhelming need for increased affordable and social housing.

“There is a crisis and we are here to help,” Rutledge said at the event.

“These people are working Kiwis that can’t survive in the current housing climate.”

Positively, De Paul House is supported by a strong community of care in Birkenhead, with local volunteers helping out with food, clothing and household donations.

Not only that, but the House has a strong focus on facilitating participation in society, which includes providing acess an e-learning centre and early childhood education, Rutledge said.

“We are a credible, organisation adjusting and meeting the needs as required.

“The best case scenario is that we shut our doors because we are no longer needed, but unfortunately our need is growing.”

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