I never thought I’d have to rely on a service like The Mission. But during the Omicron outbreak, I suddenly found myself in a really uncomfortable position where I needed help from the community.
While in between flats, I decided to stay in my campervan to help save money. Working in construction on a lower wage, you can do 50 hours a week and end up spending most of your income just on surviving. But then when I got sick, it became impossible for me to isolate responsibly because I was using some public facilities. It was really important to me that I did the right thing, by doing everything I could to reduce my risk of spreading Covid to other people. I didn’t have any family I could stay with, and even though I had some money saved, hotels wouldn’t allow me to isolate in them.
I looked for a bit of advice and support, but I simply couldn’t access anything. I spent about four hours on the phone getting passed back and forth between agencies, and hitting dead ends. I also felt that I was being judged a lot because of my living situation. I’d never felt stuck like that before, as I’ve always had some sort of security to fall back on. I tried everything I could think of, and eventually the City Council referred me to The Mission. They got in touch with me pretty much straight away, and within two hours I was moving into Te Pā Pori, one of their supported Transitional Housing facilities. I was really grateful to have The Mission on my side.
The level of support I received was totally unexpected. My room was like a hotel! It was clean and modern, had a kitchenette and bathroom, and a comfortable bed. The staff were so welcoming and friendly, and they even brought me meals and did wellness checks every day. You could just tell it was a good environment to live in, and it was a huge relief knowing that no matter how sick I got I was in the right place to recover properly and do my part to keep other people safe.
When I checked out after a week, the first thing I did was make a $500 donation. I had been shown such kindness, and without The Mission, I could have spread Covid to someone else who may have got really sick or even died.
I was really grateful to have The Mission on my side.
It was actually a really humbling experience, because I would consider myself as someone in quite a privileged position. I have a university degree, I’ve travelled all over the world, and I have a job, but I still had to really fight for myself. It really showed me how hard life can be for someone who perhaps has difficulty communicating, or even doesn’t have basic resources like access to a phone and internet. It would be so hard to advocate for yourself, and you’d feel helpless – like everyone is against you. That’s why The Mission really stands out for me. They’re not there to judge you, all they care about is how they can be there for you when you need it.