Meet the people in community housing – Brook Turner from Vision West

Oct 3, 2017 | Member profiles

“Vision West has a range of housing services that support people in the community in different ways. This includes 50 long-term social houses. They also run six emergency houses supporting up to 24 families a year. Our Housing First service aims to house 112 families in the next two years with 16 households housed so far. We are aiming to house 56 chronically homeless families by the end of January.”


Has this job changed you?

I’ve often heard people dismiss poverty by talking about freedom of opportunity. There is a belief in some that no matter where you come from, if you work hard, don’t play the victim and believe in yourself you will succeed in life. The problem with this very believable statement is that it has an assumption that sits at the heart of it. The assumption is that everyone starts from the same place. But the truth is they don’t. I come from a home of privilege, not wealth. My parents loved one another and raised my brother and I to believe that we could be anything we wanted to be. They put energy, money, time, faith and belief into us. There was no abuse in my family, no racial prejudice to overcome, no substance addiction or generational poverty. My start line was one of security, safety, love, belief and wholeness. And although I have made some bad decisions in life, I am still a reasonably whole person. My story is not the story of the poor. It is not the story of many New Zealanders. Their story begins with pain, abuse, neglect, economic deprivation, lack of access to education, words of hate, and experience of trauma. So when we talk about freedom of opportunity perhaps we should start by making sure everyone can get to the same starting line, then the race is even.

What experience has stuck with you?

We recently housed a family of eight people, six children under the age of 10. The family had spent three years living in an overcrowded room. When Vision West met them, they had been living in a single room at a motel for 25 weeks. The children had respiratory illnesses and skin issues due to the dampness and inadequate living standards. Last week, we moved this family into their first home in over three years and the parents kept the house as a surprise for the children. The moment the kids saw the house was one our organisation will not forget quickly. If only we could … see housing as a human right, not a human privilege. Imagine the difference we could make.

What’s Vision West’s aim for the future?

We have a finite aim of ending chronic homelessness in West Auckland, but the vision is much broader. Our goal is to see transformed lives resulting in a healthy community. That means giving opportunity to the people we work with to dream, work, train and build their own lives, their way. It means self-determination and equal liberty for all Westies.


This article has been reprinted from the Western leader.

Recent articles

Annual Report

CHA’s Annual Report for 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

CHA’s Annual Report for 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

Strategic Plan

CHA’s Strategic Plan 2018

CHA’s Strategic Plan 2018

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place 2017

Our Place 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

The Shift Aotearoa conference 2021 issues papers released

Community Housing Aotearoa’s three pre-conference work programmes are kicking off next week with initial zoom meetings in the Narrative Transformation and Housing System Settings streams scheduled for Tuesday 26 January at 10AM and 1PM respectively. Issues papers to...

News

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) COVID-19 Update 26 August 2021

Message from CHA's Chief Executive, Productivity Commission Submission - Include Housing in the Terms of Reference, CHA's support for members, sharing ideas and issues, Ministry of Health information and advice, Government support for your organisation, important...

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 12 October 2021

Message from Chief Executive, Fortnightly Sector Zoom Calls, Tenancy Management Community of Practice, Ngāti Toa Secures A Deal To Ensure High Quality, Healthy And Affordable Homes At Kenepuru Landing, More Progressive Home Ownership Opportunities for First Home...

Submissions

Legislation

Reports

Te Whakaruruhau Report

The Te Whakaruruhau Report establishes the peak body services to the Homelessness Sector by Te Matapihi he Tirohanga mō te IwiTrust and Community Housing Aotearoa. The report can be found here: Te Whakaruruhau September 2020

Research

BRANZ research report on ‘exceeding the minimum’ released

This report looks at the question: why don’t landlords choose features that exceed the minimum building standards and what are the enablers to changing this? The aim is to identify the barriers to an improved rental stock and potential solutions to overcome the...

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On