When we moved into our Visionwest housing, we felt so grateful. After five years of marriage, it was the first time we had ever been able to be together alone. I was so happy, I cried.
Ruci and her family had been living in a three-bedroom house with three other families. She, her husband and two children were all living in the same room. While being grateful for a roof over their heads, it was overcrowded and not a great environment for the children.
One morning, while talking to a friend at church, Ruci heard about Visionwest Housing Canterbury. She’d never previously heard of Visionwest but went straight to her nearest WINZ office to ask about the possibility of a Visionwest house. Within days, she received a call from the Visionwest Housing Team to tell her there was an emergency accommodation space available.
We were in the emergency housing for three weeks. Even though it was only temporary, it was still such a relief to finally have our own space. Our children were so happy they literally ran around and around enjoying having the freedom of having their own space to play in.
Ruci and her family have been in a permanent Visionwest home for over four years now. In that time, they have come to appreciate that being housed by Visionwest is about more than just having a roof over her head – the roof comes with myriad personal supports.
Visionwest have been amazing with the housing but also with the support from different social workers I’ve been involved with. We’ve used a number of their wraparound services. We really appreciated the help of their budgeting advice.
The Christian foundations of Visionwest also mean a lot to me. It’s a real blessing knowing that fellow Christians are looking out for us.
The Visionwest Canterbury Housing Team have held a couple of fun day events which Ruci has been asked to sing at. She always accepts the invitation and says that she likes to be asked because it feels so good to be able to give something back to Visionwest.
Like so many Visionwest whānau, Ruci has tangible hopes and dreams for her future and for the future of her family.
Sometime in the future we would like to buy our own house. More than that though, being supported by Visionwest made me realise I need to go back to school to become a counsellor. I’ve been studying health and wellbeing. Mainly mental health because I feel like people come to me all the time with issues and I don’t know how to help them. I want to be better equipped to help others.
I think it’s awesome how Visionwest look after their people. Our friends in other rental houses are amazed at how Visionwest care for us. One week we were short on food and our Tenancy Manager turned up with food for us. I don’t think Visionwest even realised what a huge blessing that was for us. We also get regular calls from Visionwest staff to see how we are going. That is just so encouraging.
Find out more about Visionwest Community Housing.