Home Comforts: Lifewise and GrabONE
HOME COMFORTS: LIFEWISE & GRABONE SETTING UP HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THEIR NEW HOMES
To mark World Homeless Day on 10 October, Lifewise have teamed up with GrabOne on a unique deal; helping set a homeless person up in their own home. For just $20, people can buy a ‘welcome pack’ for a newly housed homeless person, with essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste, toiletries, and cleaning products.
“By the time you’ve paid bond, rent and utility bills, often there isn’t any money left to buy the essentials,” says Lifewise General Manager Moira Lawler. “It’s that much harder when you’re homeless and don’t own anything to begin with.”
Lifewise’s social workers will make up special welcome packs for every person they house – whether that’s razors for men, sanitary products for women, or toys for families with children. “We’re excited to launch this deal to give homeless people the same home comforts and essentials that many of us take for granted, helping give them a sense of pride in their new home,” says Moira.
GrabOne and Lifewise have worked together previously, on an imitative that saw great responses from GrabOne’s audience. "The last time we worked together we had an overwhelmingly positive reaction,” says Ryan Watkins, GrabOne Managing Director, Ryan Watkins. “It demonstrated that the right idea, backed by a platform that can help raise awareness and allow people to easily make donations, really makes a difference. We believe no one in our society should have to sleep rough, and we're pleased to be able to support Lifewise's initiative to help set up new homes for those in need."
Lifewise focuses on solutions that work to end homelessness, not just manage the problem. This has seen the organisation make some tough choices, including closing their soup kitchen in 2007. “We started to feel that by giving people food each day that we weren’t doing anything to change people’s situation, and we had an increasingly sense of disquiet that we may in fact have been contributing to the problem.” says Moira.
These days, Lifewise uses ‘Housing First’, an internationally recognised model that has been used internationally to completely end homelessness. Housing First gives people a permanent home, and then connects them with the support they need to work through the issues that led to them becoming homeless, such as mental health and addiction issues.
People who are struggling with homelessness can come to Lifewise’s community café, Merge at 453 K’ Road and connect with Lifewise’s team of social workers. Since 2008, Lifewise has successfully housed hundreds of people off the streets and into permanent homes.
“We don’t receive any government funding for our work with the homeless, so we’re incredibly grateful for the support we receive from generous members of the public. It’s humbling to see how many Kiwis care about our most vulnerable citizens,” says Moira.
GrabOne’s deal is available from 10th October. To purchase, visit www.grabone.co.nz/auckland/lifewise-1