A South Auckland marae is confident it’ll meet the challenge as it again opens its doors to the homeless this winter.
Te Puea Marae in Mangere today opened as a shelter for six months, following a similar program last winter when it helped 54 whanau.
This year the program is looking to target help in the Mangere area of Auckland alone, and the effort is expected to work with only 25 individuals at a time, with families being transitioned to a home within six to 12 weeks.
Mona Kingi, who has worked at the marae for several decades, today told 1 NEWS it was a good challenge helping people and getting them into homes last year, “and I reckon this will be better”.
Ms Kingi said she was shocked by some of the cases the marae dealt with last winter.
“If we made it last year with their kind of baggage, I reckon we can do anything,” she said. “We had some sick ones, we had some new babies.”
She recalled the case of a young woman with cancer who came to the marae with her Samoan family from Wellington, as she had to go to Auckland Hospital.
“And the father was bringing them up, three boys and her. And she was pretty bad with her cancer. It was a beautiful Samoan family and we got them in. She was very low one part but now she’s well again. We got a home for them in Mt Roskill.”
Ms Kingi said the marae is proud it helped a lot of families.
“Some of them was a bit hard case. They took it for granted. But you’ve got to still help, whatever they are, good bad, whatever,” she said.