Last month I was living in emergency housing after weeks of sleeping in my car with nowhere to go. I had no money, two changes of clothes and a blanket. I was homeless.
My name is Moon and recently, for the first time in my life, I had no choice but to ask for help.
I’m originally from Masterton. I grew up in a one-parent family with numerous brothers and sisters. I realized early that I could be easily led and I ended up drinking too much and getting into trouble.
I was a binge drinker. I’d drink until there was nothing left.
Eventually I realized my problem and sought help. My last drink was in 1988.
I had a wonderful life. I married my beautiful wife and gained three stepsons. I was employed in forestry and I’d been a cleaner, I’d helped to build Marae complexes, I’d studied business at Massey University and I’d taken part in voluntary work. My wife taught me my tikanga and who I was. She got me in touch with my Maori culture and I learnt things I’d never known. I am so grateful for that.
After 30 years of marriage, my beautiful wife passed away last year. I was lost. I was on my own and I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I decided to restart my life in Invercargill so I got in my car and left with a little bit of money, two changes of clothes and a blanket.
I made it to Invercargill but before long I was homeless and sleeping in my car.
I became unwell and I was admitted to hospital after not having taken my insulin for my diabetes in several weeks. I left it back in the North Island.
For the first time in my life I had to ask for help. I came to Nga Kete because I wanted a Maori agency, and somewhere I could feel safe to talk and get things out.
The Whanau Ora service assisted me to get into emergency housing and made a referral to the Salvation Army for basic household items. A Whanau Ora staff member came with me to Work and Income were I was provided with a grant to buy clothing and food.
In short, the Whanau Ora service ensured I was fed, clothed, and housed! I was also referred to He Puna Waiora Wellness Centre and enrolled with a doctor. I am no longer unwell.
I have been attending the Te Rongo Pai Support Group and I have sought help from a local Budget Advisory Service.
Whanau Ora got me back on track. The service helped me into emergency housing, and now I’m living in a unit owned by the City Council. It’s comfortable and warm. I’m also on a temporary benefit.
I came from the highest part of society to the lowest. I’ve been homeless. But I’m not too proud to say that I sought the help I needed and now I know I’m going to be OK.
Whanau Ora Intake Worker:
The next step in Moon’s journey is to provide him with contacts for socialization in the community to introduce him to new people, and for support outside of Nga Kete so he becomes fully established in the community. He will also be connected to a local Marae.
For more information about our Whanau Ora Service please contact us (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242