Families at De Paul House in Northcote were delighted to meet The Prime Minister, John Key, when he visited this month to meet residents and staff, and to see the work of the charity in action.
De Paul House provides emergency housing and support for homeless families on the North Shore. There are currently 12 families in residence.
Mr Key warmly greeted mothers and their children at De Paul House’s colourful playgroup and took the time to chat to residents taking part in a lesson at the learning centre. Over a cup of tea, he spoke to people about their personal situations and what lead them to being homeless.
“He was genuinely interested in our families and was keen to hear their stories,” said Jan Rutledge, Manager of De Paul House.
The visit to De Paul House followed a fundraising breakfast for the charity at which Mr Key was the keynote speaker. More than 250 people gathered at Spencer on Byron to help raise funds for this much-needed charity.
Mr Key praised the work of staff and volunteers at De Paul House who have provided accommodation, support and social services for 31 families so far this year. Most families will live in De Paul House for around 14 weeks until staff find them a suitable home.
As well as providing a secure roof over the heads’ of families, De Paul House staff support the entire family to become independent, confident and resilient.
“We teach our families budgeting skills and help them establish a savings programme. We run employment training and life skills classes for our residents, while the young children attend the early learning centre. After school, children go to the homework centre where students from Carmel and Rosmini Colleges give up their time to teach in the homework club. It is wonderful for the children.”
De Paul House provides food parcels, clothing, furniture, parenting skills, open employment pathways, counselling, clinical services, health checks, pre-school education, a learning environment for parents and children, school camps and holiday activities, cooking, sewing, exercise and other activities to develop and nurture
“De Paul House relies on donations and volunteers from the community and we are grateful to the many parishes, businesses, families and individuals who give so generously of time and resources,” says Jan. To find out more about how you can help click here.