Oceans apart

One week before the second lockdown, Michael, a young dad and his three young children moved into De Paul House.

November 7, 2023

One week before the second lockdown, Michael, a young dad and his three young children moved into De Paul House.  He had recently returned from Australia where they had been living and working since 2008. In March, Michael lost his job because of Covid19.  As a NZ citizen he was not entitled to any Australian government assistance.  He had no choice but to return to NZ.  

Distressingly his wife, who is not on a NZ passport and needs a visa, has had to remain in Australia, separated from her children. The family do not know when they will be reunited.

Michael was delighted to move into a bright, clean and welcoming two-bedroom unit through the help of De Paul House. He and the children had been living in a very small motel room for nine weeks with no play area for the children, limited cooking facilities and a mix of many transient adults. It was a relief to finally be in a safe, family-friendly environment with space for his young children to play.  

He has enrolled his three children into the Early Childhood Centre at De Paul House and they are keen participants. The children love the toy-lending library at the centre which keeps them entertained at home.

Michael is enjoying attending classes in the Learning Centre and is working alongside his social worker to help him navigate the immigration process and apply for social housing.  While he and his family are resident with De Paul House they will be helped to save up to $500 of their rent which can be used to cover furniture, household goods from their storage banks and meet the moving costs.

Michael has clear plans for his family’s future including a home, work, education and reuniting with his wife.  De Paul House will support them to ensure sustainability and successful integration into their local community.

De Paul House has been housing families since 1986.

They provide emergency housing, social support services and learning opportunities for vulnerable and marginalised families. They provide a twelve-week residential programme which aims to provide families access to social workers, early childcare facilities, a learning centre and a kids club. Their mission is to keep family’s united in a safe and dignified environment, help them address the issues that have led them to being homeless, and have them leave to successfully re-establish themselves in the community.

Need help, then contact the team at De Paul House:
Phone (09) 480 5959 or email admin@depaulhouse.org.nz

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