Friday 5 March 2021
As a sole parent to my five children, it’s been a really hard road. But with the awesome support of The Wellington City Mission we’re now in the best position we’ve ever been in, and we’re excited about our future.
At one point, I couldn’t see a way forward for our family. I was barely meeting our basic costs, and racking up debts. That’s when I started working with The Mission to get on top of my budget. They also provided us with weekly food parcels which helped us get by, and meant that I could focus on paying back the debts that had been hanging over my head.
When our landlord gave us our notice and we were expected to move out of our home, we simply couldn’t find somewhere affordable to live. Our Mission social worker advocated for us with Housing NZ, and after a lot of work she found shared emergency housing in my local community. It was a massive relief to have a roof over our heads!
We were so grateful to be there, but over time all six of us ended up living in one bedroom together. Understandably my older kids didn’t like it, and they started playing up at school. One was also diagnosed with ADHD. During that extremely tough time my social worker made a huge difference. She supported me in critical meetings with school and health professionals, and she advocated for us with Oranga Tamariki when everything was piling up on us as a family. She even gave us special food and presents at Christmas so that my kids wouldn’t have to miss out.
I found full-time work as a carer for people with disabilities. I took every shift I could to help our family get ahead, and I began extra training. All the while, my social worker and I were constantly applying for houses. Even though I had a full-time job, time and time again, as a single parent with five kids we were being skipped over for private rentals, and government housing was always full. But after four years of living in emergency housing, we were finally successful last September, and we moved into a four-bedroom house.
It felt so good to start again as a family. You can tell that my kids feel much more settled, and they’re excited to start new schools this year. My oldest boy has a new baby with his partner, and is working full-time, so I’ve been able to support their young family to get a good start.
I really enjoy what I’m doing each day as a care worker. I just passed my Level 3 Certification in Health and Wellbeing and I’m starting my Level 4 study this year. My goal is to become qualified to work with people experiencing mental illness.
We no longer need The Mission’s support. I’ve paid back all my debts and I feel confident financially. I’m even saving towards a deposit on our own home. All I can say is thank you so much to The Mission for being there for us. I don’t know where we would be without you!
Friday 5 March 2021