City Mission opens new transitional housing facility

Waatea News

Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge is excited about Te Pā Pori. It’s the Wellington City Mission’s new transitional housing facility.

The Tory Street facility offers an opportunity to make a significant dent in a social issue in Wellington, the City Missioner says.

As one of the City Mission’s team leaders, Dakota Tuari​, says: Te Pā Pori is a way the Mission is responding to citizens’ needs.

Formerly a backpacker hostel, the building was bought by The Wellington Company for $7.5 million. Initially, the Company planned for the space to become a hotel for medium- to long-term stays.

“It’s an exciting opportunity and the scale of the building is significant because it means we can house more people and work with people on the problems they’re facing,” Edridge says.

The building is a familiar sight to locals. Edridge says the new carvings at the building’s entrance will make the stand-out zebra-striped building even more of a landmark than it is already.

Working with developer Alex Cassels​, the Wellington City Mission has a six-year lease for the building. This will help the Mission to provide transitional housing and its support services on a larger scale, Edridge says.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development would be underwriting the full costs of the lease.

Te Pā Pori includes 83 apartments – more than 70 of which are one-bedroom units. People living in these rooms have their own bathroom,

There are also communal spaces for people to gather.

By Tuesday 43 people had moved into the building. The Wellington City Mission plans to house four communities one each for men, women, couples and transgender people. Residents must be aged 18 and older.

One of the new residents is Tanoa Aulavemai. In the past, he says he never asked for help when he was struggling. In June, however, he found Wellington City Mission’s website and decided to ask for help. Since then, he has been living in another Mission transitional housing facility, Te Pā Maru​, on Taranaki St.

As that facility is about to be refurbished, he has moved to Te Pā Pori​, on Tory St. The first thing he​ did when he got a sneak peek at what his new room might look like was make a beeline for the bed.

Aulavemai says he feels spoilt and excited about seeing his new home. “I like chatting with other tenants as we’re all kind of in the same boat,” he says.

He is glad he decided to get help. With continued guidance from Wellington City Mission from housing to their other services, he says he now feels as though he is “heading to something brighter.”

“Before, I didn’t think there was any hope, but I have a sense of direction and I know the future is going to be bright. I’m glad to be here,” he says.


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News category: New Zealand.

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