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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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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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      • Wellington Zoological Gardens, Manchester Street, Melrose, Wellington, Wellington Region, 6021, New Zealand (OpenStreetMap)


    • January Update from DCM - together we can end homelessness
      • 31 Jan 2020
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 January 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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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; } } Housing the homeless It is definitely the season of change here at DCM. With the launch of two new teams in 2020, we have had a number of new kaimahi join us. In our November update, we spent time with members of our new Outreach team; this year we will also have a chat with some of our Housing First kaimahi. The front page of this morning's Dominion Post focussed on the homeless crisis in Wellington and included an interview with DCM Director Stephanie McIntyre. As Stephanie observes "We've got more resources and wrap-around support but no bricks and mortar." You can read the article here. With this in mind, the first Housing First kaimahi we are going to get to know better is Peni Fiti. Meet Peni   We have already introduced you to Peni Fiti, whose role within the Housing First team is focused on the procurement of suitable houses for people who have been homeless for a long period of time. This month we had a chat with Peni, and got to know a little more about him. Talofa Peni! Well, it’s been six months now since you joined the team here. What have you most enjoyed about your time at DCM so far? That would have to be getting to know our taumai, and especially seeing some of them move in to permanent housing. Equally I’ve enjoyed getting to know our staff – we’ve got a pretty cool bunch of people here! What are your goals for 2020? I want us to have agreed the lease of 30 properties for our Housing First programme. We CAN do this – but only with the support of all the communities and individuals who support DCM. And in a personal space, my key goal is to exercise more regularly. When people ask you how they can be part of the solution to homelessness, what do you suggest? Lease a property to Housing First - or if you don’t have a property, then spread the word to your friends who do (own a rental or investment property). Many people don’t know they can lease their rental property to a CHP (a Community Housing Provider) to support those who are currently homeless, providing them with a home. I love explaining to them how this works – give me a shout out if you would like to know more! What’s on your bucket list? Watch a heavyweight boxing title fight live in Las Vegas. What’s your favourite...? Food? Malaysian food. Waiata? E i Hoa. Sport? Rugby/boxing – can’t split the two. Film? Starsky and Hutch. Way to spend a Saturday in Wellington? Princess Bay sunset with the aiga - bonfire, bbq and beer *weather permitting of course. At DCM we often share “moments” from our interactions with taumai. What’s a special “moment” you enjoyed sharing with others? We recently housed a taumai who had lived on the streets for many years. When I asked him what he was looking forward to most in his new home, he replied, “I can’t wait to cook a steak on my own oven”. He was an ex-chef and I don’t think he had cooked for himself for a while (possibly years). It reminded me that I can’t take anything for granted, and I must always be grateful. And of course, it’s a reminder of the amazing things that we can achieve together. If you would like to be part of this, to have a chat with Peni, or have him come and meet with your community, group or business, do get in touch. <!-- --> Medical and Dental support for our taumai The generosity of the medical professionals who volunteer their time enables us to offer a dental service, physiotherapy, audiology and ophthalmology appointments here at DCM. In 2019, we were able to provide 190 dental treatments, 30 audiologist, 36 eye doctor and 58 physiotherapy appointments for our taumai. The stories below give some idea of how significant these supports are in the lives of the most vulnerable people in our city. Meet Jeff Photo by Helen Mitchell. J has been rough sleeping for some time; he has been coming to Te Hāpai most days and is now working with our Housing First team to access housing. His physical health has been seriously impacted by his rough sleeping and substance use, along with a serious long-term health condition. J has had several appointments with our physiotherapist, Jeff, to address the pain and discomfort he experiences because of his rough sleeping and multiple health challenges. P is one of our older taumai with a long history of homelessness. He has been working with DCM over many years; he is currently housed and has the support of our Sustaining Tenancies team to enable him to sustain his housing. Due to a violent incident some years ago, he has very significant mobility issues. Initially, P was too embarrassed to receive treatment from Jeff, but was prepared to have a chat with him. As a result of this connection and P’s strong relationships with other DCM kaimahi, P was later willing to receive much-needed treatment from Jeff for his leg. A fiercely independent man, the range of supports which DCM has been able to offer him have further strengthened our relationship with him, and he is in a good space in his whare. Meet our dentists Photo by Chris Bing. One vulnerable man, M, has been a long term Night Shelter resident, with significant mental health issues. He is supported by the TACT team and has also been attending Te Hāpai for some years now. A quiet man, as he has begun to build connection with our kaimahi, he has opened up more. This month we had a gap in our dental appointments, and invited him to see the dentist. He hadn’t complained about the pain he was experiencing, but the dentist discovered that he needed some urgent work. M was really pleased with the treatment he received from dentist Ruth. As a result, he has shared more with us and is engaging with DCM services. DCM assisted R with housing many years ago; a toothache brought him back to us this month. He needed several extractions; dentist Ceri extracted one quarter of his teeth in that appointment; another appointment has been made for him here at DCM and we will be supporting him to get dentures. While he was chatting to Ceri, he opened up about how unhappy he was in his whare and how he was planning to exit his tenancy and to “sleep under a bridge for a while”.  Ceri immediately raised this with the DCM team. After his appointment he had a chat with DCM kaimahi Alan who supports Wellington City Housing tenants to sustain their tenancies. With the support of DCM, R is now working through the issues he is experiencing so that he can sustain his tenancy.   Meet Lisa Photo by John Williams. After a long period of rough sleeping and couch surfing, M was housed by DCM in a Wellington City Housing tenancy and has successfully maintained his tenancy for more than a year now. DCM kaimahi had noticed that M was difficult to speak with, and struggled to hear. M saw our audiologist Lisa as a walk-in appointment. He was intoxicated and not able to undertake a hearing test; however Lisa was able to remove ear wax. M’s hearing continued to be a challenge, and at the next audiology session, he was in the right space to complete a hearing test. This revealed that he is profoundly deaf. Lisa has fitted M for hearing aids and these have been ordered for him – at no cost to him. L is one of DCM’s most challenging taumai; he has been in and out of housing, has many health challenges and has worked with DCM over many years. L saw Lisa at DCM; to our surprise, she discovered that he is very deaf and has been all his life. As a child, this was a major barrier to learning and he cannot read or write; this is something that he is intensely embarrassed by. This makes his dealings with housing and Work and Income even more difficult. Meet Paul Photo by Mary Hutchinson. T has been struggling to maintain her Housing New Zealand tenancy and has been supported by our Sustaining Tenancies team, along with a mental health service. She came in to see our eye doctor because her glasses had broken. Paul was able to provide a check-up which revealed that the reading glasses she had been using were not sufficient for her. She has significant short-sightedness and needs new glasses, which Paul has been able to provide for her. T was also delighted to receive a much-needed dental appointment for a toothache. <!-- --> How you can help Will you become one of our regular supporters - the wonderful group of people who have set up a monthly AP to support our work with people who are homeless? Can you put us in touch with people or groups who own rental properties? We also urgently need more dentists and dental assistants to become part of the team at the DCM Dental Service. Next time you visit your dentist, please ask if she or he volunteers at DCM. If the answer is yes, then thank them and lift them up for the important work they are doing for people who are homeless. If not, maybe you can encourage them to get in touch with us. <!-- --> 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 © 2019 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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    • September Update from DCM - Together We Can End Homelessness
      • 29 Sep 2019
      • Downtown Community Ministry
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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; } } September Update from DCM - Together We Can End Homelessness Happy birthday to us! 50 years...50 photos - this month we celebrated DCM’s 50th birthday with a special photographic exhibition entitled “Together we can end homelessness”.   The exhibition featured 50 different images, reflecting the part that many individuals, groups and businesses play in supporting our work. This is why our by-line is “TOGETHER we can end homelessness”. We experience Wellington as a caring place, a place where people want to be part of the solution to homelessness and welcome an opportunity to become involved in any way they can. The exhibition included images representing the contributions of: our medical supports - dentists, dental assistants, eye doctor, audiologist and physiotherapist who share their time and their skills here at DCM the local faith communities who have been part of our work for 50 years, in all sorts of different ways the food businesses which make it possible for us to provide kai and hospitality while we build relationships with people – like Pandoro, Kaibosh, Mojo Coffee the many groups involved in delivering our annual DCM Bookfair the volunteers who support our work at Te Hāpai, such as the barber who offers haircuts and John who runs our weekly poetry sessions  chefs and others who support our seasonal kai events writers, journalists, designers, printers, businesses which donate time, expertise and product those who support our work financially and in other ways and our taumai themselves – their commitment to picking up the paddle and doing what it takes to become well, and then going on to support others on a journey to housing and wellbeing. In our 50th birthday year, we want to lift up the many Wellingtonians who are part of the solution to homelessness. We also wanted to prompt those who visited the exhibition to think about ways in which they may be able to become involved. Thank you to all of you who made it along to Photospace to enjoy the exhibition. And a special thank you to the creative forces who made it possible. Though the exhibition has come to an end you can see all 50 photos on our website. <!-- --> Here’s another way for you to be part of the solution to homelessness DCM has joined a collaboration of organisations dedicated to ending homelessness in Wellington under a new government-funded Housing First initiative. We move people from homelessness into housing then provide wrap around support and regular home visits to ensure they sustain their tenancy.  One of the new kaimahi who have joined our team to take on this important mahi is Peni Fiti, who will be focused on procuring suitable houses for people who have been homeless for a long period of time. Do you own any rental properties or know any landlords who would like to learn more about becoming part of the solution to homelessness? If so, do talk to Peni. There are so many reasons to get in touch. Our Housing First team can offer landlords a “no hassles” service – guaranteed rent, no fees, maintenance sorted and your property managed for you. Even better, you will be providing a whare for a person who is experiencing homelessness. Peni would love to hear from you or any of your networks and contacts who own rental properties. Because together, we can end homelessness in Wellington. <!-- --> DCM welcomes spring Day to day life goes on at DCM as we prepare for what is traditionally a busy time of year. This month, DCM kaimahi joined together with taumai at our Seasonal Kai celebration for spring (kōanga). Our Seasonal Kai events are an important way for us to come together as a community, and enjoy some kai. DCM sits on the site of Te Aro Pā and just as the original inhabitants of the pā did, we mark the changing of the seasons by coming together this way. Our taumai also enjoyed the chance to give back and some took part in preparing the kai. As we often find at DCM, our taumai possess great knowledge and talents which were fully on display at the Seasonal Kai celebration! <!-- --> 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 © 2019 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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    • Update from DCM - Together We Can End Homelessness
      • 30 Aug 2019
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 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; font-size:inherit !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; } } Help us celebrate our 50th birthday This year, DCM is celebrating 50 years of working in the city of Wellington to “focus on the needs of, and to help empower, those marginalised in the city” (DCM Constitution, 1969). This month we held our 24th annual, fundraising Bookfair, which was another huge success for DCM, with large numbers of book-lovers coming to support our work to end homelessness in Wellington. Thank you for your support of this important event - we look forward to sharing our final tally with you soon. Next month we look forward to a special photographic exhibition focussing on the many individuals and groups within our city who are very much part of our work. The exhibition will feature 50 different images, each reflecting the contribution of one kaitautoko (supporter) group, business or individual. A number of different Wellington photographers will contribute these images, and the celebration will again be a coming together of the people of Wellington to acknowledge and reconfirm our collective commitment to ending homelessness in our city. Make a note in your diaries – plan to head down to Photospace to see the beautiful images and learn more about the amazing people in your community who are part of this vision. DCM 50th Birthday Photo Exhibition 14-28 September 2019 Mon-Sat 10am-4pm Photospace Gallery 1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place Wellington <!-- --> DCM’s Dental Service gives “lives back” This month we share the story of one of DCM's amazing supporters, our dental assistant Emily Kremmer. Emily has a full-time job and is in full-time study, but she still finds time to volunteer down at DCM, where she helps take away pain and rebuild lives. Thursday is Emily Kremmer’s “free day” – at least it’s the day she’s not at her job with Wellington Periodontics or studying for her degree in public relations and communications. But this 22-year-old dental assistant spends most of her free day in the dental treatment room at DCM. For 50 years DCM has been supporting Wellington’s most marginalised, with a focus on ending homelessness in the capital. In the first instance that’s about getting people without permanent housing into a home, then DCM supports them to stay there, to learn to manage their money and look after their new whare. But it’s also very much about addressing their physical and mental health issues, including their dental health. That’s why in March 2016, in partnership with the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Dental Association, DCM began operating a fully equipped dental treatment room, staffed by dental professionals. While the dentists volunteer their time, the dental assistants may be paid or choose to volunteer. Emily – who began with a monthly shift in August 2018 but lately has been coming every week – says she’s happy to take no payment for her hours. “I really enjoy it, and it keeps me busy. I think I’d waste my day off. I work better with something to structure my day around,” she says. The people DCM works with – who they call ‘taumai’, which means ‘to settle’ – usually have little opportunity to look after their teeth and gums, so nearly all who come into DCM’s dental service are in pain. “I love taking that pain away. As soon as you numb them up, you just see them relax,” says Emily. “And when you’re taken out that painful tooth or cleaned up their gums, they’re so grateful. One patient we had in the other day said, ‘I feel like a new man. You’ve given me back my life. I feel fantastic’, so it’s really great to feel you’re making a difference. “They often ask if we’re paid, and when we say, ‘No, we’re just here to help you,’ they’re amazed. They feel like someone cares about them and values them.” Much of the work they do, Emily says, is extractions and perio-work, with the odd filling, rather than root canals and crowns. “In general dentistry, you try to keep the real tooth as much as possible but here you need to be more realistic. There’s no point in doing a root canal if the patient can’t afford the crown. A lot of our patients here don’t have access to toothbrushes and toothpaste – although we offer them these things when they leave – so we help them in a way that’s best for them. There’s a lot of calculus build-up to scrape off, which is really satisfying!” Aside from that, the Dental Service at DCM runs just like an ordinary dental clinic, she says. Emily works from 8:30am until 1:30 on days that suit her, and is very satisfied with the clinic. “Everything runs well here. It’s super well-labelled, so it’s quick and easy to find things. There’s a new steri-room and a surgery with everything we need – ultrasonic scalers, x-ray machines, very new sterilizer and bar code scanner to keep track of sterile items and equipment. “The people here at DCM are also great. So smiley and welcoming. You never feel like you’re walking into someone else’s workplace. They treat us in the Dental Service like we’re one of the family. We take part in the daily waiata and karakia that begins each day, and they even give us lunch!” While Emily works at DCM every week, most of the dentists she assists volunteer less frequently, so she values that she works alongside lots of different people. “I have learnt a lot and I’ve become really adaptable because I need to be able to work with anyone and deal with any situation. Because I meet so many dentists, I feel strongly like I’m part of the Wellington dentist community. I don’t have plans to move onto being a hygienist or dentist but if you’re a DA who has ambitions to become a dentist, there’s a real benefit to working here.” What Emily does plan to do is get involved in dental health promotion or work for a not-for-profit organisation when she finishes her communications and marketing degree. “But I hope I’ll still be able do this because I really, really enjoy it.” An obvious thought might be, isn’t it a bit smelly working with people who live in less than ideal conditions? “Sometimes, a bit,” she answers. “But you get smelly people in private practice too. And their stories are so interesting. While some are reserved and want to get out the door as soon as they leave the chair, some are really chatty and you learn all sorts of things about them. You meet so many people you’d never meet in your normal life.” And a really good thing – they don’t complain. “In private dentistry people often complain a lot about any discomfort, but these people don’t. I think they’re used to a level of discomfort and they’ve all been living with pain for such a long time that their tolerance and resilience is high. And again, they’re just so grateful for your help so they sit in the chair and let you do your job. I haven’t heard a complaint from anyone since I’ve been here.” Emily says it’s definitely changed the way she sees people sleeping or begging on the street. “Especially if I see them drinking. One patient said to me, ‘I’ve been drinking to manage the pain’. Now if I see someone drinking, I think it may be because they’ve got a sore mouth, or toothache, or gum disease that’s not manageable.” In all, Emily Kremmer highly recommends other dentists and dental assistants offer their time at DCM’s Dental Service. “It’s very easy to work here. You give whatever time you have, whenever your want – once a month, or even less if that’s all you can do. You’re given a full orientation and lots of support while you work here.  “What we do at the Dental Service is humbling and rewarding. And – at the heart of it – we do really good dentistry.” <!-- --> Please help us get the message out there! Forward this email on to everyone you can think of who may be interested in books, how to respond to homelessness, photography and just generally people who are passionate about Wellington. Because together we CAN end homelessness in our city. <!-- --> 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 © 2019 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? 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    • April update from DCM - together we can end homelessness
      • 30 Apr 2019
      • Downtown Community Ministry
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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; } } Celebrating our neighbours Last month, New Zealanders were encouraged to connect with their neighbours during Neighbours Week. In the wake of events in Christchurch, many people reflected afresh on what it means to be a good neighbour, and expressed a commitment to showing kindness or manaakitanga to their neighbours. Here at DCM we have a number of neighbours who have become part of team DCM. From his physio practice next door to DCM, Jeff from Tiaki Wellington enjoyed listening to DCM staff and taumai singing our daily waiata outside in our courtyard. One day he came to visit us and to learn more about our work with people who are experiencing homelessness. Jeff could immediately see how he could lift up our taumai, especially those who are rough sleeping on hard ground, carrying heavy loads on their backs and dealing with multiple health challenges. And so he began offering physio sessions here at DCM. Jeff is able to help with a range of different issues, from neck or back pain, foot or knee issues, sore hips or shoulders, and other physical ailments. He joins DCM's growing pool of amazing health volunteers such as dentists, ear and eye doctors. Another of our neighbours is Neville. When Neville moved in to the apartment block next door, he came over to introduce himself to us. He offered to help us in any way he could. It turns out Neville is quite the handyman, and he has been a big help to us at DCM. If we need something fixed, installed or replaced, we just give Neville a call and he comes straight over. In our 50th birthday year, we are acknowledging the many Wellingtonians who are part of the "together" in our byline - "together we can end homelessness" - and this month we lift up our neighbours for their commitment to our mahi. <!-- --> Sharing our stories We love sharing stories about our work and the difference it makes in the lives of people experiencing homelessness. Whether it is through stories on our website, welcoming visitors here at DCM and speaking to them face-to-face, or through printed stories – it is such a pleasure to give you, our supporters, an insight in to the success that you make possible. Because together we CAN end homelessness! This month we have taken delivery of a new printed brochure, made possible by the generosity of several committed supporters of our work. We would love to share this brochure with you, and to have you share it with your networks. We encourage you to come down to DCM to pick up some copies, and to support us in getting the message out to the people of Wellington – that we can all play our part in ending homelessness in our very special corner of Aotearoa New Zealand. <!-- --> We need your books DCM would appreciate your quality secondhand books for our annual Bookfair on Saturday 17 August. From May, you can take them directly to our sorting facility on Shelly Bay Road on Thursdays or Saturdays from 9:30am - 1:00pm. Large quantities welcome, and if you have any spare banana boxes or if you can collect some from your local supermarket for us, these would be especially welcome as we have a shortfall! The door to the sorting unit is directly off Shelly Bay Road, across the street from Chocolate Fish Cafe. <!-- --> What can I do? Become a regular donor to DCM - visit our website and Support DCM Deliver your books to Shelly Bay Next month we will be contacting people about volunteering for the DCM Bookfair. If you like to join our team of Bookfair volunteers, please email events@dcm.org.nz Have you encouraged your dentist to volunteer at our dental service and do you know any dental assistants who would like to join team DCM? Our Foodbank is currently short of tinned meals, soup and canned fish - bring these items into DCM any week day or to our donation bin at New World Chaffers Do you know others who would love to learn more about DCM and our work with people who are experiencing homelessness? Encourage them to join our mailing list for monthly updates during our 50th birthday year. <!-- --> 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 © 2019 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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    • In the census, did the homeless count?
      • 27 Mar 2018
      • Downtown Community Ministry
      • 96 In the census, did the homeless count? 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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} } @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:22px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !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){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader .mcnTextContent,#templatePreheader .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templateHeader .mcnTextContent,#templateHeader .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templateBody .mcnTextContent,#templateBody .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templateFooter .mcnTextContent,#templateFooter .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } With the 2018 census pushed online there’s been much discussion about reaching those without computer access. Lee-Anne Duncan visits Wellington’s DCM. In the census, did the homeless count? View this email in your browser   Ngā mihi mahana, In this month's census, DCM was determined to ensure that our taumai were counted. We wanted to share this story from The Spinoff with you at the end of this tax year, and invite you to make a donation to the on-going work of DCM in Wellington. Remember that for every dollar you donate, you can claim one-third back as a tax deduction.  In the census, did the homeless count? With the 2018 census pushed online there’s been much discussion about reaching those without computer access, who still need someone to knock on their door. But what about those without even a door to knock upon? Lee-Anne Duncan visited DCM. The southerly marks a sharp turn from a stunner summer to chilly autumn. At the start of each season, DCM marks the change with “Seasonal Kai”, a lunch they put on for their “taumai” – which is what DCM calls the people it supports, Wellington’s vulnerably housed or homeless. Some 30 taumai – meaning “to settle” – have come to the lunch. About half are Māori and there’s only one woman, a fair representation of DCM’s clientele. They’re very welcome. With the food waiting, a karakia is given and everyone is asked to consider what the change to the colder months means for those sleeping rough, those without a home. It’s happenstance the quarterly kai has fallen on that day, one of three in early March that hi-vis-clad Statistics New Zealand’s field officers are at DCM to guide taumai through filling out the census forms. But it likely means a few more have turned up and will agree to add their details to the national count – something DCM encourages those assembled to do. “This is a really important time for taumai to have a voice and tell the government we need to build more houses and feed more support and resources back to you. Filling out the census helps you add your voice,” the group is told. Situated on the site of Wellington’s Te Aro Pā, DCM’s kaupapa follows what would have happened at the pā all those years ago. “This is where people came for food, for shelter, for community, to have a voice, to speak, to be heard, to be lifted up, to be counted,” says DCM’s Michelle Scott. “So for us, supporting our people to be included in the census reinforces the kaupapa of this place. “It’s been a great opportunity for our community to get together, to chew the fat about what’s important, what’s necessary for them to move forward, and what society should be prioritising.” That’s exactly what Statistics NZ’s Dr John Mitchell set out to record when refocusing on how to count the hard-to-reach. “Many of them have high needs in terms of government services. Since government spending decisions are made on the basis of census data it’s even more important they are counted.”   Without needing as many people to go door-to-door this time, John says they could dedicate field officers to target people who couldn’t be reached with an internet code. “That includes groups who are low responding and need more encouragement and assistance to be enabled to do the census. We had a community engagement team out talking to many communities – Māori, Pacific, culturally and linguistically diverse communities – getting the message across why it’s important to do the census, and looking at ways to enable them. A subset of that was obviously the rough sleeping homeless.” As John’s team was out engaging, Michelle was also looking for ways to enable taumai to take part in the census. The organisation had worked hard to encourage them to vote in last year’s election, and many did. The feeling of empowerment, of having a say and being heard, remained. John and Michelle came up with the idea of having census officers at DCM – and other similar organisations around the country – to help marginalised people fill in the census. “Usually that’s done by a street count,” says John. “Where field officers walk along looking for people sleeping rough, and try to persuade them to give enough information to complete at least some of the individual form. “This census we’ve taken a multi-faceted approach. We’ve done a street count, but in eight cities we’ve worked with organisations who engaged directly using different approaches depending on what would suit their clients.” “It seems to have gone well, with lots of buy-in by letting the people the rough sleepers know and trust recommend doing the census.” Trust is certainly a major issue for  taumai and others like them. While voting is just ticking a box, filling out the census means handing over personal information. “But they trust DCM and trust us not to get them into trouble,” says Natalia Cleland, one of DCM’s social workers. “We’ve been talking about the census for weeks. We put up notices covering what the census is about, why it’s useful and what happens with the information. Our taumai also had the chance to tell us their concerns, then we could get the right information to give them confidence.” “It also gave them time to gather the information they needed,” says Michelle. “We could say, ‘If you’re Māori and you aren’t sure about your iwi, go away and find out so you can include it in the census’. “We wanted them to come with that rich part of who they are and what’s gone before them. It really appealed to them as a topic of conversation and it was fascinating to see them connecting and discussing their various backgrounds. So lots of other positive things have come out of doing the census here.” But for the country the main benefit of having three days of census filling at DCM, and like organisations, is that many people have registered their existence who otherwise wouldn’t have. “Some of our people don’t have any ID and may not even be recorded on any databases. If they’ve filled out the census they are recorded somewhere as a human being and as a New Zealander,” says Michelle. While not having an address is one barrier to filling out the census, low-to-no literacy is another. Even taumai who DCM has supported into housing came in for support, with one knocking at DCM’s door at 8:55am on census day morning, waving his census form. Yes, Statistics NZ offered to send field officers to people’s homes if they needed help, but that wouldn’t have worked for all of DCM’s taumai, says Michelle. “This is where their whānau is. Here, some of them have sat in our marae atea and discussed their answers with each other. They had kōrero with others who had already done it, and they’d say, ‘Well, I did that, I ticked that box’, so they got a huge resource from one another.” Robert is one who wouldn’t have completed the census without DCM’s help. Released from prison in 2016, he slept for a while in his van. He’s housed now, but came to DCM to do this census – his first ever. “If someone hadn’t helped me, I would have just got pissed off with trying. We were told the story of why you should fill it out, and then it made sense to me so I did it. “I encourage people who have been in prison all their lives to do this. It’s a piece of the puzzle that is missing. When we include ourselves in things like this, it helps us to feel part of the bigger picture and you want to do it more and more. It feels pretty cool to fill it out.” Jason sleeps anywhere that’s (hopefully) warm and dry. Along with homelessness, literacy issues would have prevented him filling out the census. “I understand we’re not counted but they’re trying to make a change, the government. I wanted to fill it out because it adds to the big picture. But without someone helping me, I couldn’t. I appreciate DCM giving us the opportunity to have a voice.” The staff at DCM are happy to play their part in drawing that big picture. “It’s not giving an accurate picture of New Zealand society if we count only people who are willing and able to fill out their census forms,” says Natalia. “We’re helping provide New Zealand build an accurate picture of who we are, and who are the ones with the highest needs. That feels really valuable.” Statistics NZ can’t pinpoint when this year’s data will be available, but be sure everyone at DCM will be watching to see how that data is used. “We’ve reinforced that this is about reciprocity – ‘tuki atu, tuku mai’, another of our kaupapa,” says Michelle. “We told our taumai that they give their information so, in turn, the government can support them – with enough houses, hospitals, doctors, etc. “They now feel like they have a voice, that they count. Now they are watching to see if they’ve been heard.” Freelance journalist Lee-Anne Duncan contributed this piece as a volunteer for The Community Comms Collective, whose pro bono clients include DCM. Thank you for your ongoing support, From everyone at DCM.   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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    • In the census, did the homeless count?
      • 27 Mar 2018
      • Downtown Community Ministry
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In the census, did the homeless count? View this email in your browser   Ngā mihi mahana, In this month's census, DCM was determined to ensure that our taumai were counted. We wanted to share this story from The Spinoff with you at the end of this tax year, and invite you to make a donation to the on-going work of DCM in Wellington. Remember that for every dollar you donate, you can claim one-third back as a tax deduction.  In the census, did the homeless count? With the 2018 census pushed online there’s been much discussion about reaching those without computer access, who still need someone to knock on their door. But what about those without even a door to knock upon? Lee-Anne Duncan visited DCM. The southerly marks a sharp turn from a stunner summer to chilly autumn. At the start of each season, DCM marks the change with “Seasonal Kai”, a lunch they put on for their “taumai” – which is what DCM calls the people it supports, Wellington’s vulnerably housed or homeless. Some 30 taumai – meaning “to settle” – have come to the lunch. About half are Māori and there’s only one woman, a fair representation of DCM’s clientele. They’re very welcome. With the food waiting, a karakia is given and everyone is asked to consider what the change to the colder months means for those sleeping rough, those without a home. It’s happenstance the quarterly kai has fallen on that day, one of three in early March that hi-vis-clad Statistics New Zealand’s field officers are at DCM to guide taumai through filling out the census forms. But it likely means a few more have turned up and will agree to add their details to the national count – something DCM encourages those assembled to do. “This is a really important time for taumai to have a voice and tell the government we need to build more houses and feed more support and resources back to you. Filling out the census helps you add your voice,” the group is told. Situated on the site of Wellington’s Te Aro Pā, DCM’s kaupapa follows what would have happened at the pā all those years ago. “This is where people came for food, for shelter, for community, to have a voice, to speak, to be heard, to be lifted up, to be counted,” says DCM’s Michelle Scott. “So for us, supporting our people to be included in the census reinforces the kaupapa of this place. “It’s been a great opportunity for our community to get together, to chew the fat about what’s important, what’s necessary for them to move forward, and what society should be prioritising.” That’s exactly what Statistics NZ’s Dr John Mitchell set out to record when refocusing on how to count the hard-to-reach. “Many of them have high needs in terms of government services. Since government spending decisions are made on the basis of census data it’s even more important they are counted.”   Without needing as many people to go door-to-door this time, John says they could dedicate field officers to target people who couldn’t be reached with an internet code. “That includes groups who are low responding and need more encouragement and assistance to be enabled to do the census. We had a community engagement team out talking to many communities – Māori, Pacific, culturally and linguistically diverse communities – getting the message across why it’s important to do the census, and looking at ways to enable them. A subset of that was obviously the rough sleeping homeless.” As John’s team was out engaging, Michelle was also looking for ways to enable taumai to take part in the census. The organisation had worked hard to encourage them to vote in last year’s election, and many did. The feeling of empowerment, of having a say and being heard, remained. John and Michelle came up with the idea of having census officers at DCM – and other similar organisations around the country – to help marginalised people fill in the census. “Usually that’s done by a street count,” says John. “Where field officers walk along looking for people sleeping rough, and try to persuade them to give enough information to complete at least some of the individual form. “This census we’ve taken a multi-faceted approach. We’ve done a street count, but in eight cities we’ve worked with organisations who engaged directly using different approaches depending on what would suit their clients.” “It seems to have gone well, with lots of buy-in by letting the people the rough sleepers know and trust recommend doing the census.” Trust is certainly a major issue for  taumai and others like them. While voting is just ticking a box, filling out the census means handing over personal information. “But they trust DCM and trust us not to get them into trouble,” says Natalia Cleland, one of DCM’s social workers. “We’ve been talking about the census for weeks. We put up notices covering what the census is about, why it’s useful and what happens with the information. Our taumai also had the chance to tell us their concerns, then we could get the right information to give them confidence.” “It also gave them time to gather the information they needed,” says Michelle. “We could say, ‘If you’re Māori and you aren’t sure about your iwi, go away and find out so you can include it in the census’. “We wanted them to come with that rich part of who they are and what’s gone before them. It really appealed to them as a topic of conversation and it was fascinating to see them connecting and discussing their various backgrounds. So lots of other positive things have come out of doing the census here.” But for the country the main benefit of having three days of census filling at DCM, and like organisations, is that many people have registered their existence who otherwise wouldn’t have. “Some of our people don’t have any ID and may not even be recorded on any databases. If they’ve filled out the census they are recorded somewhere as a human being and as a New Zealander,” says Michelle. While not having an address is one barrier to filling out the census, low-to-no literacy is another. Even taumai who DCM has supported into housing came in for support, with one knocking at DCM’s door at 8:55am on census day morning, waving his census form. Yes, Statistics NZ offered to send field officers to people’s homes if they needed help, but that wouldn’t have worked for all of DCM’s taumai, says Michelle. “This is where their whānau is. Here, some of them have sat in our marae atea and discussed their answers with each other. They had kōrero with others who had already done it, and they’d say, ‘Well, I did that, I ticked that box’, so they got a huge resource from one another.” Robert is one who wouldn’t have completed the census without DCM’s help. Released from prison in 2016, he slept for a while in his van. He’s housed now, but came to DCM to do this census – his first ever. “If someone hadn’t helped me, I would have just got pissed off with trying. We were told the story of why you should fill it out, and then it made sense to me so I did it. “I encourage people who have been in prison all their lives to do this. It’s a piece of the puzzle that is missing. When we include ourselves in things like this, it helps us to feel part of the bigger picture and you want to do it more and more. It feels pretty cool to fill it out.” Jason sleeps anywhere that’s (hopefully) warm and dry. Along with homelessness, literacy issues would have prevented him filling out the census. “I understand we’re not counted but they’re trying to make a change, the government. I wanted to fill it out because it adds to the big picture. But without someone helping me, I couldn’t. I appreciate DCM giving us the opportunity to have a voice.” The staff at DCM are happy to play their part in drawing that big picture. “It’s not giving an accurate picture of New Zealand society if we count only people who are willing and able to fill out their census forms,” says Natalia. “We’re helping provide New Zealand build an accurate picture of who we are, and who are the ones with the highest needs. That feels really valuable.” Statistics NZ can’t pinpoint when this year’s data will be available, but be sure everyone at DCM will be watching to see how that data is used. “We’ve reinforced that this is about reciprocity – ‘tuki atu, tuku mai’, another of our kaupapa,” says Michelle. “We told our taumai that they give their information so, in turn, the government can support them – with enough houses, hospitals, doctors, etc. “They now feel like they have a voice, that they count. Now they are watching to see if they’ve been heard.” Freelance journalist Lee-Anne Duncan contributed this piece as a volunteer for The Community Comms Collective, whose pro bono clients include DCM. Thank you for your ongoing support, From everyone at DCM.   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
      • Accepted from DCM alerts archive by feedreader
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      • hospital
      • people

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