Life has presented Miro with more than his share of challenges, but he remains positive because he knows, whatever he goes through, Visionwest will be there to walk beside him and support him in tough times.
“My family came from Poland 25 years ago. When the earthquake struck, I was working next door to the CTV building and saved from injury only because I’d gone home for lunch. Our house was damaged beyond repair.
“Once the rebuild began, there was lots of work but that dried up and we returned to Auckland. It wasn’t easy. With no money and no employment, we were struggling. I went to WINZ and was told to go to Visionwest.
“At Visionwest, we were welcomed and listened to, and they helped us with food and budgeting; and they found us a house to live in. Boom! We couldn’t believe it.”
Finding a comfortable and stable home was a significant help to Miro’s mental health. He found a job as project manager for an apartment development. Shortly after this, however, Miro’s wife became ill. In three short weeks, she’d succumbed to cancer. “I was lost. Visionwest organised the entire funeral for me. Then, just a month before Covid, I was made redundant. I’d badly injured my spine and was forced onto a benefit.”
Miro moved to a Visionwest home in Henderson Valley. A year or so later, the Auckland Anniversary floods hit. Miro’s home was one of the worst hit houses in one of the worst hit streets in Auckland.
“I could see water coming over the riverbank and up to my windowsills within minutes. I ran as best as I could with my back injury, but I lost everything, and I mean everything, clothes, furniture, all the photos of my wife … everything. Visionwest found me a new house but what I didn’t expect was that Visionwest furnished my house with new whiteware and furniture. It’s amazing!”
Miro’s latest challenge is a cancer diagnosis of his own. It’s a dire diagnosis but, once again, he remains upbeat saying a positive outlook is possible because of his friends at Visionwest.
“So much has happened in my life. I admit, there was the time when I couldn’t see any future and I was suicidal. Without Visionwest, I don’t think I’d be here. Visionwest listened to me and heard my real needs. There was no judgement or looking down at me. They helped me and they changed my life. It’s not easy to do that for a person, but that’s what Visionwest did for me.”