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Celebrating Collaboration And Empowering Young Parents Through Housing Security

In July 2023, the Waikato Wellbeing Project joined forces with Twenty20 Housing to produce a compelling story as part of the ‘Lots of Little Fires’ series.

This collaboration brought to light the essential role of exceptionally run transitional housing providers, like Twenty20 Housing, in supporting adults and rangatahi (young people) experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness.

Angie Simpson, director of Twenty20 Sustainable Housing, saw a previous ‘Lots of Little Fires’ story shared by the teen mums at He Puaawai, the Teen Parent Unit at Fraser High School. Shocked by the negative experience the young mums were having in their current transitional living situations, Angie asked Joe Wilson to connect her with Gill Cotter, curriculum director of He Puaawai to see what could be done to help.

After meeting with some of the young parents and understanding their needs, Twenty20 set out to help, and have now opened a beautiful new whare, home, that will cater specifically for young mothers in a nurturing, safe and fully supported environment.

“We saw their video; they saw our video and this whare was conceived in that meeting. We wanted to do something together.” Says Angie Simpson.

Angie Simpson, representing Twenty20 Housing, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with the Waikato Wellbeing Project and acclaimed Joe Wilson, an exceptional advocate for community issues and a talented storyteller.

Angie remarked, "Through Manaaki Rangatahi, we met Joe Wilson, an extraordinary advocate for disadvantages in our community, and a great storyteller." She further highlighted the impact of Joe's short films, which shed light on organisations striving to make a difference in the Waikato community.

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Angie Simpson expressed gratitude to Joe Wilson for his impactful storytelling, stating, "Thank you, Joe. Your film has been seen all around the world and presents transitional housing in the positive light that it deserves. Thank you for lighting this little fire."

The collaborative efforts between Twenty20 Housing, the Waikato Wellbeing Project, and He Puawaai exemplify the power of community partnerships in addressing complex social issues and fostering positive change. Through collective action and shared commitment, these organisations aim to empower teenage mothers and create pathways to brighter futures for families in the Waikato region.

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