In 2021, just eight months after moving his family into their West Auckland property, Trushar’s house was flooded and they lost many household items. Trushar admits it was an inconvenience but nothing like the trauma the family experienced on 27 January 2023.
When the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods ripped through Trushar’s home the floodwaters rose so rapidly that the family had no time to save anything. They waded out and left behind everything they owned; eight months later, their home sits empty as they slowly rebuild their lives.
“After the flooding, we went to a hotel. We felt very alone and had no idea what else to do. When we heard about the Kelston Civil Defence Centre, we went there and met people from Visionwest. We were given a place to stay in a Visionwest apartment for a week before getting longer-term accommodation.”
Trushar’s family came to Aotearoa New Zealand ten years ago, worked hard and were incredibly excited to buy their own home just over three years ago – since then it has flooded eight times.
“I suddenly realised I had no idea how to deal with the banks or the insurance companies or the Government or Council, or what support we were entitled to or where to find it. Thankfully, we had Visionwest. They negotiated with people on our behalf which meant we could focus on work and ensure we had money coming in to cover our mortgage and the rent we would soon have to pay.”
Visionwest helped Trushar’s whānau with food, housing, budgeting, and counselling support – every one of these he describes as vital. “Things got way beyond my control. My wife was not sleeping, nor were my kids. Little things became big things and I became so stressed. The people from Visionwest told me, ‘It’s okay to ask for the help,’ so I did. And they answered.”
Despite what he’s been through and the challenges that lie ahead as he works through issues related to insurance and negotiates with the Council over what should happen with his property, Trushar remains amazingly buoyant and positive.
“Visionwest has provided food, shelter, clothing, furniture, not just for us but for so many families. What Visionwest does is vital, after all, kids don’t sleep without food and a family doesn’t sleep without a roof over their heads. Visionwest gives this and more; what else we could ask for?”