What makes all the difference with Visionwest is the wraparound services that are provided. If a housing tenant needs budgeting, they can get budgeting, if they need food, there’s food support available, same with counselling. Everything you need to make a go of it is right there.
Personal circumstances caused Andrea and her daughter to move to Christchurch a few years ago. Finding the right place was difficult, however, because Andrea is in a wheelchair and she was placed in emergency accommodation that was unsuitable for her..
Some land agents took one look at my chair and said, ‘Sorry, we’ve got nothing available.’ Others would show me places that I couldn’t even access. In the end, a case worker at WINZ suggested I phone Visionwest Housing. I spoke to Nathan who told me there was a house decked out for a person with a disability that would be perfect for my needs.
Andrea remains amazed at how quickly she went from struggling to find a place to live, to being in the perfect home. Like others who come to Visionwest Canterbury for housing, she found everyone so welcoming which made it feel like she was visiting friends rather than going for an accommodation interview.
From that first meeting, everything changed for me. I was filled with such tremendous hope for the future. I’ve been in my place for over a year now and it’s wonderful. A permanent home brings stability to your life. When you have no stability, it touches everything because it affects your mental health. Coming to Visionwest, with all the support I received, it just lifted me back up.
Andrea’s ultimate aim is to get back to a place where she can once again own her own home. She’s found renting a Visionwest home a great way to step back and look at her goals objectively while building up her bank account and setting up her new home with all the practical things she needs.
It’s more than Housing
Once again, she mentions the support she receives from the Visionwest team,
When things get a little tough it’s easy just push them to the side or ignore them. At Visionwest, I was welcomed so warmly that I felt confident to reach out for help when I needed it and that help has always been there. The budgeting help to get back on track was especially awesome. I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own, I needed someone to step in and help me to see things clearly and set things up in a logical way.
Andrea says that moving into her Visionwest house has given back her independence, but there’s more than that.
Being in this home means I’ve been able to take back my role as being mum. Before I was reliant on my daughter. She would have to leave to catch the school bus at 7am and often, if she had after school activities, wouldn’t return home before 8 or 9 at night. She would come home and do the cooking, look after me, and study. She coped amazingly well but it was really stressful for us both.
Now, I can prepare the meals and do other chores while she is free to be a teenager and spend her days free from worrying about me.
Andrea is enrolled in a computer course and looks forward to returning to the workforce sometime soon.
Click here to find out more about Visionwest Housing.