The Christchurch Methodist Mission is always on the lookout for ways to make a positive impact in our community. This leads to hundreds of conversations every day with people needing help and organisations, funders and donors who want to make a difference.

At last year's Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Conference, Nan Roman from the National Alliance to End Homelessness in the US presented. As the co-chair of the Te Waipounamu Community Housing Providers Network, I was asked to host her in Christchurch and therefore organized a meeting at the Christchurch City Council (CCC) as they had recently adopted a policy to end homelessness in the city. Following that gathering, Councillor Phil Clearwater asked me to attend a meeting of three Councillors and the City Mission to discuss how the policy to end homelessness might be implemented. At that meeting, I spoke about Housing First and stressed the importance that the Christchurch City Council do not attempt to develop something on their own, but rather work collaboratively with the Ministry of Social Development, other Government agencies and Community Housing Providers.

Months after the initial conversation with the CCC, the Housing First initiative is set to begin in March. After many years of seeing homelessness getting worse in Christchurch, we now have a plan to end it. A simple conversation many months ago has led to a partnership of organisations forming to make a tangible difference to those that are long-term homeless in our city.

The other conversations we have might not be as ground-breaking as the one with the CCC, but they are no less important. A simple conversation with a parent struggling to make ends meet or a child not coping under the weight of anxiety is often the starting point to a more positive future.

This coming year the Christchurch Methodist Mission will continue to have conversations with the people in our community in need. We will also talk with organisations, funders and donors about how best we can respond to the issues that are impacting on those who are most vulnerable. Your support at the start of the year will enable us to turn these conversations into action and make a difference throughout our community. Please donate today

Ngā mihi nui,

Jill Hawkey
Executive Director

Conversation changes