WelCom February 2024
Kamau Holland – Director, Catholic Social Services
Catholic Social Services are part of a collaboration that provides household goods and pantry packs to help in the settlement of newly arriving refugees. We can do this because of the generosity of our parish communities and others who have donated household goods, pantry packs and turned empty houses into homes.
Since 2015 when this project started, thanks to kindness of these groups CSS have supported the resettlement of over 1000 people in and around Wellington – that’s around 310 households. Some 534 people have been helping with collecting and supplying household goods and pantry packs; and just over 900 people have helped to set up the homes.
More recently, the housing shortage has meant patterns for resettling refugees have changed with smaller families and many single people now being accommodated. This puts pressure on providing resources. For example, expensive items needed to set up homes were previously shared by a larger number of people in the same household. Now, instead of providing one microwave, vacuum cleaner, rice cooker, electric jug, say for a six-person household, we have to multiply those items six-fold for six individual households.
When the project began in 2015 many parishes and other groups leapt at the opportunity to support and help set up homes for newly arriving refugees. But the changing patterns of resettlement has meant many have found it difficult to sustain this support.
In December last year, CSS worked with the Anglican Movement to settle 12 families. We struggled to pull together what was needed for another 13 people arriving before Christmas. Our resources were almost depleted and we were concerned about providing items for families due to arrive in January. We appealed to staff at the Archdiocese of Wellington office and were blown away by their generous response with donations worth more than $1600.
The need for support is ongoing. From mid-January more people began arriving and others will continue to arrive during 2024. With resources almost exhausted CSS is appealing for your support to have items available to transform empty houses into homes ready for people as they arrive this year.
Groups and individuals who would like to help with gathering household goods, pantry packs and setting up houses are needed this year. For information and to offer your help, please email our coordinators Vera or Mercy at email@example.com or phone (04) 385 8642.
Donations can be made at: wn-catholicsocialservices.org.nz/Donate or ph (04) 385 8642.