Mere* is a frequent flyer to the Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust.
This is her second visit.
Born and bred in Lower Hutt, Mere was settled in her own council house by the Trust on her first visit. It was in the Hutt; she then decided to move to Auckland to start a new life. Mere wanted to get into Odyssey Home’s rehab programme but unfortunately the waiting list was too long.
Mere stayed with a friend who would ask Mere to pay rent in advance and would then throw Mere out on the streets for not respecting her rules. Mere said this was like being on a roundabout that she finally chose to get off. In between living with her friend, Mere would sleep rough or spend some time living in boarding houses.
Mere decided to move back to Wellington where there is better support for homeless people and she knows where all the support services are.
Helen, the Trust accommodation manager, was doing an ‘Outreach’ on the streets and Mere saw her and asked if there was room for her at the Trust. Mere went to the DCM on a Friday and by Tuesday she’d been referred to the Trust and moved in.
The Trust has helped Mere get a benefit, mental health support, prepare her CV, apply for jobs and put together housing applications. The Trust has also helped Mere get furniture for her future home as well as organising for her debts to be paid off.
Mere says “Helen is a great person to talk to when you are down and you can talk to her about anything and she doesn’t judge you.”
Mere’s advice to new comers at the Trust is to give the place a chance. She said “Without this place I’d be stuffed. Without the Trust where would we be?”
* Name has been changed.