Topic: Housing

Charity helps more families for Christmas because of housing crisis

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Love Soup Rotorua says there is a change in tide with community groups working with the homeless.  The organisation, which was set up to help the homeless, is now catering to more families who have been evicted from their homes.  This has motivated families in Rotorua to do more to help those in need during Christmas.

More and more families in Rotorua are experiencing homelessness according to Gina Peiffer of Love Soup Rotorua. 

“We catered for our men last year with the gifts. We haven't catered for them this year because everything that has come in has been for the families and there is just so many of them it's overwhelming. I'm trying to get through many of them as I possibly can so they have something they have to have a bit of hope.”

This year Love Soup Rotorua will provide Christmas hampers and food parcels for 43 families.

“Love Soup will not be here if it weren't for the Rotorua community they donate everything they have gone out and gone shopping for our families they donated the wrapping paper they have donated the food that is going into the food hampers for them everything I need they bring it to me.”

According to Gina, they operate 364 days a year providing meals for the homeless in Rotorua.  They only have one day off and that is on Christmas day.

“We had become a aware a couple of years ago via our people who were out on the streets that from Christmas to roughly the 15th of January is the high suicide rate among homeless people because that is when feeling the most alone it's when all the agencies are closed all the church are closed and I guess pretty much Love Soup is it.”

Gina says emergence housing is needed for Rotorua in the future but for now, the families being helped by them will at least have a Christmas.