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    • April update from DCM - together we can end homelessness
      • 1 May 2020
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 April update from DCM - together we can end homelessness p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; 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} } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:30px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:26px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } Reaching out to the most marginalised – during lock-down Reaching out to the most marginalised – during lock-down Natalia and Chris catch up with Mark in Te Aro Park During the COVID crisis, the priority for DCM’s Street Outreach team has been connecting with people rough sleeping or who are sleeping in their cars, and getting them in to emergency accommodation. “Government and other agencies worked together to rapidly increase the supply of emergency housing in response to the pandemic, and so we have been able to get rooms for many of these people, some of whom were not even prepared to consider such an option before the lock-down,” explains Outreach team leader, Natalia. “At DCM we often talk about 'Ki te hoe' or 'pick up the paddle'. What is it that motivates someone to finally pick up the paddle and do what it takes to get off the streets and into housing? In this case, concerns about limited access to food and toilets during lock-down, seeing that there weren’t the same opportunities to supplement their income through street begging with the streets empty, and being offered appealing accommodation, including new facilities, some of which also provide three meals a day. COVID-19 and the lock-down have offered us a unique opportunity in our work to end homelessness.” With a growing group of rough sleepers in emergency housing, the Outreach team can now prioritise supporting them to take the next steps. “We are seeing rough sleepers who were very reluctant to try emergency housing, even during the lock-down, now thriving in their new accommodation. The next step is to follow up with these taumai, and to have more kōrero with them about housing. There’s a window of opportunity while we know where they are, to talk about their situations and to do the groundwork to get them on the path to housing.” DCM is totally committed to a Housing First approach; this means that we will work with those we have been able to get off the streets and in to emergency housing, to get their names on to the social housing register and to work together to access a permanent home for them. This is something that for many of them would have been inconceivable a few months ago; but now they have taken a giant step, and this has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to them. Who knew that a time like this could be the greatest support in achieving our goal of ending homelessness in our city? This is part of a longer story about the mahi which DCM’s Street Outreach team is doing during lock-down: read the full story on our website. <!-- --> “Together we can” – find innovative solutions during lock-down Natalia out on outreach during Level 3, speaks to a man outside Westpac on Lambton Quay Some of the most marginalised people in our city have no home, no income and no ID. When these people are unable to access a bank account of their own, DCM provides them with a money management service, accesses a benefit for them and pays their bills; they then receive the remainder of their money by cheque. These cheques have to be cashed at a bank branch. This not only presented a significant problem during lock-down, but was potentially no longer a viable long-term option. DCM approached MSD and Westpac, and together came up with a solution which will make a difference in the lives of the poorest people during the current crisis and well beyond. Instead of receiving a weekly cheque, these people are now able to use a payment card supplied by Westpac. “Usually this would take a couple of months to organise, but we expedited it within two weeks so that these people could have their money,” Transactional Solutions Manager at Westpac, Julia Hopkins, says. It works like a debit card but is called a ‘prepaid card’ so DCM can put the amount of discretionary income which would have previously been paid out as a cash cheque onto the card, and the person can spend up to that limit. This is a fantastic step change, as we have grappled for some time with the problem of how to continue to deliver our money management service when cheques are ultimately phased out. The new initiatives which have enabled us to continue to support the most marginalised people in our city during the COVID-19 pandemic, also offer long-term benefits and solutions for our taumai.   Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini – Success is not the work of one, but the work of many. <!-- --> “Together we can” – an important conversation and shared commitment This morning the entire DCM team was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet with our local MP and New Zealand’s Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson – that’s 32 of us participating in a Zoom hui! We were able to share with him some of our learnings from recent weeks - the positive things and the challenges - and we were all uplifted by his responses. We updated Grant on the practical and innovative ways that DCM has responded to the crisis, and shared some of the positives, including: the speed at which a whole new stock of emergency housing has been made available, and  the excellent way in which the partnership between DCM, government, MSD and HUD, and other community agencies, has been working. Everyone has had a can-do attitude. Amongst the concerns we were able to raise:  The need to increase the stock of permanent housing, for people to move from emergency housing into their own homes During lock-down it has become clear that the level of substance misuse is larger than even we knew, and we will need more specialist drug and alcohol support in the future There are gaps around the integration of people exiting prison. During lock-down, we have had a significant number of taumai come to us direct from prison, including people who have served long prison terms sent to us to house in emergency housing. Grant acknowledged the courage and compassion that DCM has showed as we have kept working with vulnerable people. He spoke about a commitment to “Build Back Better” across a range of domains – from inequality and income support to a low carbon future.  And he invited DCM to be a part of this: “In the midst of this crisis, there is also a chance to look out to the horizon. We get to re-set things a bit; there is an opportunity here, and we need your help to co-design this new future.” Stephanie thanked him, accepted his challenge and issued another on behalf of DCM: “Thank you for the leadership you and the Prime Minister have shown to us as a nation. You have made bold decisions for us and you have shown the world this can be done with compassion and kindness” ... “Grant, we don’t want anyone to go backwards from here. Your government has often spoken about going hard, going fast. We have seen rapid decision-making and the benefits of this; let’s continue to go hard and go fast to end homelessness.” <!-- --> Please help us get the message out there! Forward this email on to everyone you can think of who may be interested in how to respond to homelessness, and just generally people who are passionate about Wellington. <!-- --> Read More Success Stories Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi With your basket and my basket, the people will thrive <!-- --> Copyright © 2020 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCMPO Box 6133Marion SqWellington, Wellington 6011 New ZealandAdd us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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    • February update from DCM - together we can end homelessness
      • 28 Feb 2020
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 February update from DCM - together we can end homelessness p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; 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text-align:left; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#0f288b; background-image:none; background-repeat:no-repeat; background-position:50% 50%; background-size:cover; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; padding-top:54px; padding-bottom:54px; } .headerContainer{ background-color:transparent; background-image:none; background-repeat:no-repeat; background-position:center; background-size:cover; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; padding-top:0; padding-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#757575; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p a{ color:#007C89; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#transparent; background-image:none; background-repeat:no-repeat; background-position:center; background-size:cover; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; padding-top:27px; padding-bottom:54px; } .bodyContainer{ background-color:transparent; 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} } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:30px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:26px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } Reception at Government House A highlight this month was the opportunity for us to visit Government House where The Rt. Hon. Dame Patsy Reddy hosted a reception to celebrate DCM’s 50th birthday. This also provided an opportunity to recommit to our vision of ending homelessness, and to reflect on what we all need to do to better support this vision going forward. We share some key sound bytes from the speeches delivered by Dame Patsy and by DCM Director Stephanie McIntyre at Government House. Dame Patsy with DCM Kaihautū Neavin Broughton. “I was interested to learn that DCM is located on a site once occupied by Te Ati Awa. "One of my predecessors, Sir Paul Reeves, was descended from those people who lived in Aro Pā, and he talked about the pain experienced by his tipuna when they lost their homes there in the early days of settlement in Wellington. "So I think Sir Paul would be pleased that an organisation dedicated to finding homes for the homeless is now in that very locality, particularly given that a large proportion of DCM’s taumai are Māori. "We all know that shelter is a basic human right, and that individuals can’t address other issues or explore their aspirations if they don’t have a roof over their heads. "It must be particularly challenging for DCM and its partners to be working at a time when there just aren’t enough houses for Wellington’s population, let alone the range of accommodation options to suit the needs of the people who walk in DCM’s door.” - Dame Patsy Reddy Morris Wong, President of the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Dental Association with the former President, Gavin Cho, at the reception at Government House; both are volunteers at DCM's emergency Dental Service. "Over the last year, DCM has grown to the point where we now have the human resources to support people in to houses, and to provide the wrap-around support and intensive case management they need. The irony is, however, that we haven’t got the bricks and mortar. "Last year we were able to support 85 people from homelessness into houses, but this year, in the midst of a very significant housing crisis, we are really struggling to access homes for our taumai. This is something we need to do together, and this is why my key message to you all tonight is this. "If you or anyone you know has a rental property or is thinking about investing in a rental property, please speak to us. We can offer landlords a 'no hassles' service – guaranteed rent, no fees, maintenance sorted and funded – and you will be providing a whare for a person who is experiencing homelessness." - Stephanie McIntyre, Director, DCM <!-- --> Meet Junior This year, we are introducing you to some of our kaimahi, the amazing team of people who support taumai to access and sustain housing. Junior Leota joined us in October 2019. He is working with the Aro Mai Housing First team, getting people with long histories of homelessness in to a permanent home, and supporting them to get to a good place in all aspects of their lives. What have you most enjoyed about your time at DCM so far? I’ve enjoyed seeing a lot of our taumai come out of their current position, homeless or at risk of homelessness, into a more stable one. Seeing the happy look on their faces from a good end result is priceless. What have you learned about homelessness since you started at DCM? It can be a long road for someone to move out of homelessness. Patience is important. Be sensitive and compassionate toward their situation. Sometimes you just want people to snap out of bad habits, but there may be a lifetime of trauma behind it. DCM is keeping me humble! When people ask you how they can be part of the solution to homelessness, what do you suggest? I would suggest bringing people who are homeless to a service like this – like DCM. Find places that can provide the right level of support for them. Find the people who really care, and introduce them to us. What is your favourite…? Food? Cream donuts.  Waiata? Whakataka Te Hau.  Sport? Volleyball.  Film? Enter the Dragon. (I love Bruce Lee.) What’s on your bucket list? Get a lot healthier and eat better. Less donuts! At DCM we often share “moments” from our interactions with taumai. What’s a special “moment” you enjoying sharing with others? I have enjoyed the best moment – finding permanent housing for people who have been homeless for a long, long time. Our latest taumai to be housed was teary-eyed when he got to view his place. We saw a burden lifted off his shoulders – he no longer has to worry about where to go or where to sleep. And his kids can come and stay with him now. Getting a roof over your head is truly life-changing. <!-- --> Foodbank shortage As Junior has noted, it is very special to see people who have been homeless for a long time move into a permanent home. But with this comes new challenges – adjusting to the realities of their new living situation, paying rent, electricity and other bills. Often there is very little left for food. DCM’s foodbank is busy year-round, but as our mahi has expanded, we are visiting more and more people in their new homes, supporting them to sustain their tenancy and to thrive in all aspects of their lives. Being able to offer food support from time to time is an important part of this, and our foodbank is busier than ever. We are now very short of many items, and we seek your support to re-stock the shelves. Some of the things we most need at present are:   Tinned fish Instant noodles Soups and ready meals Spaghetti Spreads Please drop food items in our food bin at New World Chaffers any time, or bring them directly in to DCM at 2 Lukes Lane, Te Aro, weekdays. <!-- --> Please help us get the message out there! Forward this email on to everyone you can think of who may be interested in how to respond to homelessness, and just generally people who are passionate about Wellington. <!-- --> Read More Success Stories Nāku te rourou, nāu te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi With your basket and my basket, the people will thrive <!-- --> Copyright © 2020 DCM. All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: DCMPO Box 6133Marion SqWellington, Wellington 6011 New ZealandAdd us to your address book Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
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    • DCM Bookfair 2018 - One Week to Go!
      • 27 Jul 2018
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 DCM Bookfair 2018 - One Week to Go! p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; 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DCM Bookfair 2018 - One Week to Go! View this email in your browser DCM's annual, fundraising Bookfair is ONE week away! Saturday 4 August, Shed 6, Queen's Wharf, 8am-6pm. Wellington's annual DCM Bookfair has been raising funds for vulnerable Wellingtonians for 23 years - but unless a new storage venue is found, this year's event will be the last. Our thanks to Lee-Anne Duncan for this story, published in today's Your Weekend. There's never a shortage of donations but the storage unit DCM has relied on will not be available next year, leaving the future of the book fair in doubt. Every year, book lovers flock to the DCM Bookfair on Wellington's waterfront to grab an armful of bargains in support of vulnerably housed citizens. But unless a new storage venue is found, this year's event will be the last. Lee-Anne Duncan reports. It's catnip to bibliophiles, that smell. It's the bouquet of books, heavy with dust and knowledge, to be stacked and sorted, packed then transported to Wellington's Shed 6 for next Saturday's DCM Bookfair. This year is the 23rd time hundreds of volunteers have poured thousands of hours into collecting, sorting, boxing and setting out nearly 100,000 books for the country's biggest book fair. The event is also DCM's biggest single fundraiser. Formerly known as the Downtown Community Ministry, DCM works "at the serious end" of homelessness. Along with supporting people to find sustainable accommodation, DCM provides a variety of services to support vulnerable Wellingtonians. The organisation calls the people they work with "taumai", meaning "to settle", preferring it to the less personal "client". While DCM receives funds from local and central government to carry out some of its work, donations and fundraising events like this one are its lifeblood. If this book fair is as successful as those past, a near quarter century of book fairs will have collectively raised at least $2 million to fund DCM's work. "That's $2 million we haven't had to ask of central or local government agencies," says Stephanie McIntyre, DCM's director for the past 14 years. "The only reason we have been able to raise that money is through the generosity of Wellingtonians who donate their books, the people who buy them, and of course the volunteers who give their time to make it all happen." A fundraiser's success often comes down to those volunteers, especially for an event as large and complex as DCM's annual book fair. But this year's event might be its last, as the planned development of Shelly Bay means the Wellington City Council-owned warehouse used to store and sort donated books won't be available next year. "All this is absolutely at risk," says McIntyre. "We have had zero response trying to find another warehouse. We'd love to have another book fair as it's become such a classic Wellington thing and it's essential fundraising for us. Next year is our 50th birthday and it would be a great shame not to have a book fair in such an important year." DCM director Stephanie McIntyre. Many – if not most – of the fair's volunteers give their time year after year. A core group of about 30 helpers travel to the warehouse on Thursdays or Saturdays, or both, for generally five or six hours a day every week between April and August. There, wrapped up against the winter chill, they receive donations, sort the books into categories, then into subcategories, and sometimes even into micro-categories. "I've found quite a few books on grief. I'm hoping I can get enough together to make a section of its own," says long-time volunteer Wendy Nelson. "And I've got all these diet books. This year we seem to have a lot of paleo books." Spirited exchanges have been known to happen over categories. All Blacks Don't Cry by John Kirwan, for example: "Is that sport or mental health? I even found copy in Psychology earlier," says Nelson. If there's more than one copy – and often there is – the books can be allotted wherever book seekers may think to find it. A marine biologist, Nelson works full time as a principal scientist at Niwa but spends her Saturdays sorting. She's been involved in the book fair every year since the first, in 1996. "The then director, Helen Walch, said she'd had this great idea to hold a second-hand book fair as a fundraiser that would engage the volunteers and community. "I thought it sounded like a good idea – I like books, so why not get involved? DCM does such important work, and is such an important part of Wellington. Sometimes it's hard to know how to contribute, but this is a way for us to do our own small bit."  Volunteer Wendy Nelson, a marine biologist and book lover. Each year DCM supports about 1000 people who are experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. But the work DCM does goes far beyond putting a roof over their heads. Every DCM day begins with a karakia and waiata. DCM kaimahi (staff) and their taumai gather to give thanks for the new day at 9am when the organisation's doors open in Te Aro's Lukes Lane. Social workers are on hand to talk to taumai to get to the heart of why they're experiencing homelessness. They support the person to access a benefit and manage their money, find and sustain housing, and connect to whānau and culture, health and other services. Statistics New Zealand defines homelessness as: "Living situations where people with no other options to acquire safe and secure housing are without shelter, in temporary accommodation, sharing accommodation with a household, or living in uninhabitable housing." Research by Otago School of Medicine in 2016 put the number of New Zealanders living this way at more than 40,000 people, nearly 1 per cent of our total population – the highest rate of homelessness in the OECD. It's difficult to accurately quantify homelessness. During this year's census, DCM staff worked with Statistics NZ staff to encourage and support people who were homeless to complete the census forms. "We explained that government funding decisions are made on census data, so filling out the census made sure they were counted," says McIntyre. DCM's own data vividly describes the increase in demand. Over the past five years, the number of people who are homeless that come to DCM for support has increased by more than a third. "Even more worrying, the number of people we see who are actually without shelter – so rough sleeping, or sleeping in cars – has more than doubled." McIntyre expects the number of people DCM supports to increase this year. "When you get a severe housing crisis, as we have now, it's the most vulnerable who are kicked to the end of the line. As housing gets harder for everyone it gets especially hard for these people, which makes our work even more necessary." In May, the Government announced $100 million to address homelessness – $37 million of that was allocated to find places by the end of this winter, with the rest spent over four years on the Housing First programme. While DCM will be at the forefront of delivering Housing First in Wellington, the organisation will continue to rely on volunteers and donations to pay for its core services. We visit four Saturdays from sale day. There's a stiff nor'wester whipping the waves a few metres from the warehouse. Out in the harbour, a rare southern right whale is leading the news. Te Amo Roberts, another volunteer and someone DCM has supported, reports he saw the whale on his way in. He stirs himself a coffee between breaking down cardboard boxes and helping with some of the "grunt work". Volunteer Te Amo Roberts received assistance from DCM in the past. Today, he's an important part of the book fair team. "There are some biscuits on the sideboard, Te Amo – Cameo Cremes," says McIntyre, who's holding a brief meeting with a small group of volunteers, a long, tightly written to-do list on her crossed knee. Cut sandwiches and fruit are boxed on the sideboard, along with those Cameo Cremes. Everyone knows a volunteer army sorts and packs on its stomach. Most of the fair's book-sorting volunteers stick to their areas of expertise – a retired anaesthetist is set to work deciding which medical books are still useful, and a war buff flicks through the military books. They determine which books will sell and for how much, which subjects are likely to be "in"' this year, and which – judging by the number of those donated – are on their way out. The volunteers' knowledge also means they're well-placed to spot a valuable book. Then, with the aid of local auction house expertise and internet bookseller searches, a price is applied and the book is included in the high-value stack. "We do get some amazing finds where people might not have realised they've gifted us an extraordinary treasure, but we have no way of reuniting it with its owner," says McIntyre, who, drawing on her own pre DCM music industry career knowledge, found a rare Beatles book some fairs back. "At the same time I'm sure we've had books we've sold for $2 that may have been worth hundreds. But you've got to be philosophical." A hand-drawn diagram of the Shed 6 book fair layout is pinned to the wall. Each table has a number assigned to a book category: children's, history, health, fiction (so much fiction), New Zealand, art, and so on. The more work done now, the better 100 or so volunteers on set-up day know exactly where everything fits. Taking too many books to fit a category's allocated section would lead to chaos – setting out 90,000 books is a precise science. "We've got a phenomenally good offering of children's books this year, so we've had to shuffle up some other things to accommodate that," says McIntyre, scrutinising the diagram. "The foreign languages are fine but the music is the big headache at the moment," says one volunteer, popping in to give McIntyre a quick update on her areas. The team is following a packing plan with scheduled revision points. According to the plan, by this day 75 per cent of books must be sorted, tallied and packed on pallets (each holding about 800 books) ready for transportation to Shed 6 at dawn the day before fair day. With clipboard in hand, Alexi Manouilenko is responsible for the tally. DCM stepped in when he needed support a couple of years ago, which led to him volunteering on fair day in 2016. "As well as wanting to give back to DCM, I'd been out of work for a while and people are reluctant to hire you when you don't have anything to explain your time off. I realised the best way to get back into work was to volunteer to show I could work. I already knew DCM so I volunteered for two years. That led to some paid work and now I have a full-time job with DCM."  Part of Manouilenko's job is to decide how many books in each category should go to the fair and use his maths skills to keep tabs on the packing. "I look at the previous two years to see how many books were taken in each category and how many were sold. From that I try to guess at what we should take this year, and I tell the volunteers how many boxes in each category to pack." This level of organisation is why DCM must close the book on donations four weeks out from the fair. Even on the last day, every few minutes book-toting donors poke their heads around the peeling-painted door. "I just want to drop some books," says a man, setting down his burden. "Thank you, mate," says McIntyre. "Come to the fair and buy a whole lot more, won't you?" Surely he will – book lovers only clear their shelves to fill them with new finds. While the DCM Bookfair is certainly about finding new homes for old books, it's also about raising funds to support marginalised Wellingtonians into homes of their own. Nelson remembers when the team was ecstatic to raise $15,000 – now the book fair raises around $100,000, which goes directly into funding DCM's work with people experiencing homelessness. It's that work, as well as their shared love of books, that motivates the volunteers. Volunteer Tamara Morton with stacks of books ready for the fair. Tamara Morton is a consulate advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but spends her Saturday mornings in the warehouse's fiction section, estimating the book-buying public's appetite for Philippa Gregory and Dan Brown. "When I was living overseas, circumstances happened that I found myself looking for a place to live. It was short-lived and I've never been truly homeless, but I can't forget the anguish that came with thinking, 'What am I going to do? I've got nowhere to go.' To be able to help an organisation with the resources to address that is why I do this for DCM. "There's also the huge bonus of making connections with people you wouldn't meet in a lifetime of routine days. The people who work here come from all sorts of backgrounds and different stages of life. It's really cute to see the cheeky banter that goes on between a Millennial and a Baby Boomer. It's really delightful to be a part of that." Nelson is busy assessing travel guides (nothing published before 2010 goes on sale). "What I love about the book fair is that everyone's winning," she says. "The people off-loading their books feel they're going to a good place, the people who rock up to the book fair get fantastic bargains, and the people who volunteer get satisfaction from contributing to something. And it's about making connections into the community." Our thanks to Lee-Anne Duncan for this story, published in today's Your Weekend. Feel free get in touch with us at DCM over the coming week if you have any questions about the Bookfair on (04) 384 7699 or events@dcm.org.nz Click Here to Donate Now! <!-- --> Copyright © 2018 DCM, All rights reserved. Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list
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    • I'd like to lodge a compliment, please
      • 2 Aug 2010
      • The Wellingtonista
      • I spent two weeks living on the 28th floor of a hotel in Tokyo when I was ten, and ever since then, I have been obsessed with hotels. As you probably know, here at the Wellingtonista, we're also very fond of free food and drink, so when the Travelodge invited us to for Cocktails & Canapes, of course we responded enthusiastically.
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