We are delighted to see that Danielle Bergin has been made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to the community, particularly the homeless.
Danielle is the Founder and Manager of the Island Child Charitable Trust, providing shelter, care, support and opportunities for whānau experiencing a housing crisis. This small grassroots organisation successfully rehomes between 48-55 whānau (residential and non-residential clients) each year, depending on available housing.
The Tindall Foundation has supported Danielle in her work since 2010 either through our Auckland Local Donation Manager (Auckland Foundation) or through TTF direct donations. We are so thrilled she has been recognised for the outstanding work she is doing.
Says Danielle; “It is truly a privilege and an honest reflection of the thousands of hours of community work. Assisting homeless whanau and supporting their journeys to wellness and sustainable housing outcomes is truly an incredible life journey. I am so grateful and proud that the journey has helped many lives, especially those New Zealanders whom have fallen through gaps.”
Says Martina O’Driscoll from the TTF donation’s team, “Danielle is a truly inspirational woman who has worked tirelessly to care, support and give opportunities for homeless people in Auckland. Huge congratulations to her for making a sustainable difference to the lives of so many whanau over the past 16 odd years.”
While running an op shop in Panmure, Danielle noticed homeless people sleeping outside her shop and in cars and allowed them to sleep in her shop as needed. Following this she bought a property in Point England in 2005 and established the Island Child Charitable Trust as a homeless shelter, developing this into one of the most successful in the country. Her ability to network in the community has seen her re-house families sometimes within days and not the usual twelve-week minimum period.
Island Child has since grown from one house to four houses and 13 tiny houses on one site, providing for 18 families or up to 54 people each night. Danielle has also helped support a remote hospital and villages in Vanuatu, sourcing donations of medical goods from around the country and working with the New Zealand Air Force to transport goods.
“Being homeless is like being a ship in a raging storm battered from wave to wave. All you want is to find a safe cove to shelter from the storm. Compounding factors contribute to someone becoming homeless, including low incomes, high rents, health problems, problematic relationships, the effects of traumatic experiences, inadequate supply of new housing, a lack of affordable housing and government policies.”
- Transitional housing for up to 15 people
- A 12-week personalised residential programme
- Access counselling, budgeting, social work and medical services
- Link whānau to support systems and government agencies
- Identify future education and job possibilities
- Deliver an animal-assisted learning programme
- Assist whānau into appropriate, healthy and sustainable homes
- Network with housing providers and government agencies
The Tindall Foundation has donated $195,000 to Island Child both through our direct donations and through our Auckland Local Donation Manger