Alison Conn is explaining a tragic story about one of Wellington’s invisible dilemmas as she calls it.
“I had a woman with two children who came to me and said she had nowhere to live,’’ she recalls. “I was heart broken and devastated ‘what can we do’ I thought.’’
The invisible is visible to Ms Conn and Real Hope Church pastor Colin Russell agrees its a major problem where there are few solutions.
“People come to the church especially on the weekend pleading for help and we try to do everything we can. They have just nowhere to go because of many circumstances,” he said. “Many think we are unchristian if we can’t find immediate help, we care and desperately want to help.”
The plaza will be the venue of a special event dedicated to talking about the homeless issue in our town and also at night the Real Hope Church will host a sleep out from 8pm, the events a pertinent reminder that our freezing weather has occupants who live outside desperate for a way inside.
‘’Some people will take homeless people to their house, to try and help but also remedy their situation’’ Mr Russell told the Times ‘’ The reality is it is happening here’’
‘’I get at least three requests per week’’ Ms Conn said ‘’ From young families to teen youth. Some can’t afford rent and are going from friends and relatives lounges and floors but because of their situation overstay their welcome’’ she said of what she calls ‘’The rough sleepers ‘’ the unwanted with nowhere to go.
Deeply looking at the issue, Ms Conn and Pastor Russell agree mental health issues are areas where Governments, NGO’s and others must look at. ‘’ There no after hour services, no weekend services, Its why many come to our church’’ Mr Russell said.
‘’Alcohol and drug abuse through their parents or guardians also forces people to run away and be forced out. We need services for these people in the bush’’ Ms Conn said.
Is there a way out, we’re reminded today’s events may be a stark and blunt sign a community grows its community the pair say.