Tereanna never expected to find herself “homeless,” but that was before the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods. After her whānau lost their home and all their possessions, she came to Visionwest looking for accommodation, but she discovered so much more.
“The first time our place flooded was on 27 January but after that, whenever it rained, water came into the house. Our three oldest children were assigned emergency housing while my husband and I, with our three youngest children, ended up living in one small room. It was cramped and we had air beds that we’d pump up every night and then deflate and put away every morning.”
Tereanna came to Visionwest where she met Becks, one of our Community Connectors. “Becks was the most welcoming, beautiful person I’ve ever met. She didn’t judge me or treat me like just another person in a queue, she made me feel like I wasn’t forgotten.”
Becks helped Tereanna to find a home but then there was another immediate challenge – her whānau had no furniture. “She got us new beds, bedding and blankets, and other furniture. We were incredibly thankful.”
During this time, Tereanna’s car containing all her work gear was stolen. Visionwest were able to allocate her a six-week loan car while she sorted out her insurance.
“We have received food support, help with housing, a car, and counselling, without that, I don’t know where I’d be right now. The counselling and other support I’ve received from Visionwest has given me hope and shown me that there is life after the floods. Like many children affected by the floods, Tereanna’s tamariki have what she calls ‘rain anxiety.’ The sound of rain on the roof can bring back memories of the flooding and a sense of dread.”
Tereanna credits Becks from our Community Support Team with giving her hope by connecting her with support options at a time when she was still shellshocked from the flooding and struggling with motivation.
“I’ve learned that, even in the toughest times, there are organisations like Visionwest and people like Becks and the Community Connectors who are there for anyone who has a need … they open their arms and offer support. They’re not here to shame you or make you feel like you’re another number, they’re committed to supporting you in your time of need.”`