Faces of the day

Board chair Tania Lewis, left and Angela Wallace at Awhina House.

Today’s faces of the day are providing practical kindness and compassion that will provide a bridge for women who are currently homeless into their own homes.

Western Bay women who have been living in cars or taxpayer-funded motel units are now receiving the help they need to transition from homelessness to independence thanks to Awhina House.
The women’s shelter opened its doors last month and is already making a huge difference in the daily lives of several ‘guests’.
Awhina House manager Angela Wallace says one woman recently described the shelter as her “safe place” and the group is beginning to bond and enjoy a proper home life including home-cooked meals.

“Women are coming here and transformation is happening. We all have dinner together every night and they’re all contributing to keeping the place clean, mowing the lawns and growing vegetables in the garden. They’re all doing really well and making progress. They’re engaged with what we’re offering which is great to see.”
Awhina House can house up to 12 women at a time, and provides support to help them get back on their feet and ultimately find their own accommodation.
All women will receive advice from Tauranga’s Budgeting Service, and a positive lifestyle programme offered by the Salvation Army is proving popular. Staff are also teaching women how to present themselves in the best possible light to potential landlords.

[…] “We have women here who have been living in cars or in motel rooms which is quite isolating. They’ve just been in a holding pattern. How do you plan ahead when you’re living in a car? All you’re thinking about is how to buy petrol and where your next meal is coming from. You’re in survival mode.
“Here, they’re in a supported environment with wrap-around services to help them move forward. They can stop, take a breath, and focus on their long-term goals.”
Awhina House was made possible thanks to generous donations from a range of private and community organisations […]

“Homelessness and a lack of affordable accommodation are genuine and pressing issues in our community.

[…] “People often find themselves in difficult circumstances through no fault of their own, and supporting them to build a better future will ultimately strengthen our whole community.