Supporting the homeless

WelCom May 2020: DCM is finding new ways of working with the homeless in Wellington during the Covid-19 crisis. As an agency with a very high level of face-to-face engagement,…

WelCom May 2020:

Supporting the homeless Archdiocese of Wellington
Rob is manning DCM’s 0800 number service for taumai from his home.
Photo: Supplied

DCM is finding new ways of working with the homeless in Wellington during the Covid-19 crisis.

As an agency with a very high level of face-to-face engagement, there was an urgent need to quickly reduce physical interactions. A key strategy has been to supply phones to the homeless so DCM can keep in touch with them. An 0800 number has also been set up so the homeless can readily access support at any time. 

DCM is continuing to provide essential support which includes ensuring that those on DCM’s Money Management Service have access to their income and those in emergency accommodation sustain their housing during the lockdown. DCM is also continuing to support rough sleepers into emergency housing during
this time.

Emergency food support is another service provided by DCM. DCM usually relies on food donations to stock their foodbank but during the lockdown they are having to purchase food directly from supermarkets for delivery.

Says DCM executive director, Stephanie McIntyre: ‘It has truly been very moving to be able to support our taumai [those DCM works with] at this time. Today a number of people came to us for food support. We were able to send them away with a generous selection of canned and dried foods, fresh fruit and veges, bread, milk and frozen meals. But more than that, we reminded them that we are still here for them, that so much has changed, but DCM is only a phone call away. 

‘As we spoke with taumai out in Lukes Lane, with spaces set up to ensure that we maintained and modelled safe distances, we asked them how things were going for them. People were in tears, they were so touched by the support and community that DCM continues to offer them.’

DCM has been active in Wellington city since 1969, firstly as Inner City Ministry, later as Downtown Community Ministry and more recently as DCM. The organisation is strongly supported by Catholic parishes of the central city. For more information about how you can support the work of DCM, visit www.dcm.org.nz/support-dcm