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Shelter Masterton – Project Manaaki

In 2021, ECCT provided $40,000 to Shelter Masterton to support the re-piling of a house, and the installation of heating and hot water systems for a home which was kindly donated for the use of transitional housing for the homeless. On a recent trip to the Wairarapa, Trustees & Staff were keen to visit the home to view the progress, but more importantly to talk to the team running the project as housing, or lack thereof, is a key issue affecting many across Eastern & Central provinces.

Shelter Masterton has been providing critical support and help to homeless people in the Wairarapa since 2019 with the creation of a day shelter at the back of an Anglican church complex. The shelter, open three times a week, is staffed by volunteers.  As a result of witnessing the dire need, volunteers wanted to provide more in the form of regular accommodation to get people from living rough on the streets into a safe place where they could access the help needed, and eventually to transition into long term accommodation.  And so began Project Manaaki.   

The house was kindly donated, and the community of Masterton came together to fundraise for the needed refurbishments with additional support from funders such as ECCT.  Tom Gibson, secretary of the Shelter Masterton Committee stated, “the transitional home is not just a shelter – it provides residents with a home for a period of time within a caring and supportive environment to help them re-establish their lives”. 

Image: The shelter undergoing its renovations.

ECCT Trustees and Staff were truly touched by the dedication and commitment of the volunteers who are working hard to make a real difference for those in need within their region.  Due to continued fundraising, further cabins have been built on the site and a caregiver is present on property to offer more support to the residents, but as noted by Tom Gibson, the need is ever increasing as the wealth gap continues to grow.

Image: ECCT Trustees & Staff meeting with the amazing group of volunteers that help to run Shelter Masterton.