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

CHA’s Submission on the Charities Amendment Bill

CHA’s Submission on the Charities Amendment Bill

CHA submitted to the Social Services and Community Committee on the Charities Amendment Bill. We supported a robust and fully inclusive review be done through an independent body to address underlying issues that our sector faces and ensure lasting charities. The...

Annual Report

2021/22 CHA Annual Report

2021/22 CHA Annual Report

Strategic Plan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place Report 2017

Our Place Report 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

News

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter – November 28, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the latest staff news, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, plus highlight a number of community and partner events. Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter November...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter – November 14, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the latest staff news, Auckland's CHP network latest event, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, plus highlight a number of community and partner events. Community...

Community Housing Aotearoa Newsletter – October 31, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the release of our Annual Report and our AGM, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, summarise the VUW Interns' work to produce CHRA Registration and Methamphetamine...

Submissions

CHA’s Submission on the Charities Amendment Bill

CHA submitted to the Social Services and Community Committee on the Charities Amendment Bill. We supported a robust and fully inclusive review be done through an independent body to address underlying issues that our sector faces and ensure lasting charities. The...

Legislation

Reports

CHA 2022 Annual Report and Audited Accounts

What a year for our Community Housing Aotearoa Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa team. Our Annual Report highlights our service delivery, including: - 16 submissions to central and local government. - 30 trainings and events delivered on topics ranging from public health...

CHA’s Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook

CHA has developed a Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook - with consultation from the NZ Drug Foundation - with advice for providers, tenants, and policy-makers. This resource can be read below: Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook

Research

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