The Dunedin Night Shelter goes above and beyond for their clients!
Through the Catalytic Foundation Community Fund, which is supported by payday donors and donor organisations, we were able to provide a financial grant to the Dunedin Night Shelter in 2023. We are thankful to our donors for supporting the fund and ensuring outstanding frontline charities such at Dunedin Night Shelter receive necessary support.
The following are social stories about the important work they do.
WALTER was recently released from prison on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend. He had about $150 in cash, no identification, no bank account. He also has some serious medical conditions. Thankfully he had the support of Out-of-Gate, a prisoner reintegration service provided by CareNZ in the South Island assisting short-serving prisoners in making a successful transition back into the community. Although eligible for a Work and Income benefit, Walter couldn’t receive it without a bank account. To get a bank account he first needed ID. Out-of Gate approached the Night Shelter to ensure Walter could be housed while he sourced his birth certificate, set up a bank account and starting receiving his benefit. Usually, the maximum stay at the Night Shelter is five nights, but there is some flexibility if there’s a genuine need.
A few months later Walter was back at the Night Shelter as his sickness benefit had been cut off by Work and Income because he hadn’t produced a three-monthly medical certificate. As he explained, he didn’t have a GP and had found it impossible to get a casual doctor’s appointment. He couldn’t afford to go to the Urgent Doctors. The Night Shelter rang around medical centres and finally managed to get Walter an appointment. Most Dunedin medical centres, including the low-cost ones are not taking new patients now, and it was only due to a good relationship between the Night Shelter community worker and a medical centre employee that Walter was squeezed in. That afternoon he got his medical certificate and his second Covid vaccination. He stayed at the Shelter a few nights and then moved on, likely to an unsafe boarding housing or backpackers, or living rough.
Social Story from the Dunedin Night Shelter Annual Report
NICKY is 19 with an intellectual disability, most likely due to foetal alcohol syndrome. He has lived in care homes all his life but at 18 had to leave and was thrust ill-equipped into the world. While Nicky has a support worker funded by the state (for a few hours a week) he finds it extremely hard to navigate the world. He has few life skills and finds himself bullied and taken advantage of in the boarding houses he’s lived in. He arrived at the Night Shelter in a bit of a state, and we did our best to get him feeling safer and tried to find a more stable living environment. The only option was another boarding house, which was a bit safer. After he left the Shelter, we kept an eye on him and provided him with meals for a few nights a week. It was only by luck that we discovered he had botched a couple of rent payments and was in danger of being thrown out yet again. After an intervention with the organisation providing care support to him it was fixed, but in all probability, Nicky will spend the rest of his life in a precarious living situation unless he’s provided secure housing with greater support around him. What's heart-breaking is that Nicky wants to be a body builder. His dreams are unlikely to be fulfilled without support.