This is a story of hope. It’s a story about facing the toughest times in life, and with the right support and self-belief, coming out all the better for it.
A new life begins with such promise. But the journey to reaching our full potential can be fraught with challenges. There can be many obstacles that stand in the way of success: addiction, mental illness, poverty, racism, intergenerational trauma, housing affordability, and discrimination. Sadly, these can lead to some people facing homelessness, and it can be difficult to get back on track.
The journey starts with a home
Recognising what is essential for a successful journey out of the complexities of homelessness to graduate from our services is important. We worked alongside whānau using our services, our practice leaders, peer support workers, and our kaupapa Māori leaders to understand the journey of whānau through Housing First and what success looks like for them.
They shared that with the right services, support and nurturing, there is hope for a better future. The Housing First Auckland Collective (HFAC) supports whānau to overcome the obstacles identified. Support is built on a foundation of trust and rapport.
We are curious. We listen deeply and get to know whānau and understand their dreams and aspirations
We hold on to hope no matter what.
We empower whānau. We support whānau by goal setting, providing education, building resilience, removing barriers, advocating for them and encouraging them every step of the way.
We recognise, together, that the journey will not always be a comfortable one. And that’s OK when you have peer support workers who have personally navigated the journey through homelessness at your side. With peer support, whānau believe that they too can do this.
It’s important whānau know what their worth is.
The stages of whānau success are…
A place to call home
Whānau sustain tenancy with support from Housing First. A home is a platform to grow connections and flourish.
Whānau grow and develop natural support systems (whānau, hapū, iwi, and community) to achieve their aspirations.
Achieving life’s aspirations
Whānau are empowered and feel confident to take themselves to the next stage of their life aspirations, with stronger connections and a true sense of rangatiratanga.
The term whānau whakapuāwai represents success for whānau, as they move forward and blossom in their life journey.
Whānau whakapuāwai happens when whānau are achieving their life’s aspirations, living with greater rangatiratanga, and without the need for ongoing support from Housing First.
They will have established social and natural support in their community – they will have a strong sense of belonging and whakawhanaungatanga. Strength is fostered through connection to whānau and, for some people, through spirituality.
Celebrating whānau success and their journey to independence
Our principles of Tāiki – rangatiratanga, whakawhanaungatanga, and manaakitanga – are at the heart of celebrating whānau whakapuāwai.
It’s whānau-led. Whānau have choice over when and how to leave Housing First. They leave when they feel ready.
It’s strength-based. We focus on what success looks like for whānau with an appreciation that everyone’s journey will be different and unique.
It’s inclusive. We acknowledge the people that have supported and journeyed alongside the whānau and the importance of whakapapa, iwi, and hapū.
This is powerful. This is ‘whānau whakapuāwai’ – when our people are blossoming. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and celebrate.
When whānau leave Housing First, while they may need less of us, they will forever be whānau. Our door is wide open so whānau can return whenever they need us. They will be welcomed with open arms….always!
Whānau whakapuāwai is a name gifted to HFAC by Matua Fred Astle (Tainui). We are honored to embrace this gift.
Heartfelt thanks to the kaupapa Māori leaders, practice leaders, peer support workers, and whānau for all your input and guidance.
Special acknowledgment and thanks to Richard Turipa for his generosity of spirit and for sharing his wisdom and talent.