On 17 August 2021, a COVID Alert Level 4 was once again declared, this time the entire country was affected.
As with 2020, this was an exciting and challenging time for Visionwest as we worked to meet the unprecedented needs for support within communities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
The 2021 Lockdown Report is an analysis of, and reflection on, the period between August and October 2021. It centres on Waitākere, Auckland, and the experiences of both Visionwest’s service delivery teams and the whānau who approached us for support. Our Lead Advisor Service Development analysed key service data and interviewed key staff from across the organisation about the support they provided during the lockdown, the needs they saw throughout Waitākere, and the implications for future service delivery.
It’s our hope that these insights might give the reader a greater understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic affected, and continues to affect, members of our community and support organisations like Visionwest.
At 11:59 on 25 March 2020, Aotearoa New Zealand entered COVID lockdown Alert Level 4 for the first time. Every one of Visionwest’s services was forced to pivot to a new model of support delivery but, through it all, the homeless were housed, whānau fed, and those who are older or living with disabilities were supported to stay safely in their homes through the lockdowns. Those in training continued to be taught and those in need of financial or counselling advice continued to receive support.
A key feature of service delivery was the collaboration and support, both amongst the Visionwest team and from other organisations and individuals in the community. Together we learnt, adapted, worked flexibly, and achieved what would normally be thought impossible.
By the end of that first lockdown, we had fed over 27,000 people, delivered over 221,000 hours of in-home healthcare and placed over 200 people, previously experiencing homelessness, in housing.
Visionwest’s lockdown story is told in Our COVID Story – Tā Mātou Mate Karauna Kōrero.