Shelter Masterton homing vulnerable seeks funding support

2:00 pm on 13 September 2021

The trust behind Masterton's new homeless shelter put a roof over the heads of three people over lockdown.

The house for the homeless in Elizabeth St, Masterton.

The house for the homeless in Elizabeth St, Masterton. Photo: SUE TEODORO

The first residents of Shelter Masterton on Elizabeth Street moved in about seven weeks ago, and the trust that runs it is seeking funding from Masterton District Council (MDC) to continue to look after the district's most vulnerable.

In a presentation to MDC's grants committee last week, trustee Tom Gibson said it had been a "rollercoaster of a year" for Project Manaaki.

An anonymous donor paid for the Elizabeth Street property, and funding was previously granted by Trust House Limited and a grant from Masterton District Council to repile and renovate the building this year.

A huge amount of voluntary work had gone into the Elizabeth Street complex and the day shelter at the back of the Anglican Church on Church Street, Gibson said.

Up to 20 homeless people at a time were using the day shelter, compared with five at a time when it first opened last year.

Gibson made his case to the MDC grants committee, asking for $30,000 to fund the shortfall of running costs for Shelter Masterton for 2021.

Shelter Masterton was "warm, comfortable, and the residents who are in it are very happy with the environment", he said.

An on-site presence was needed at night and a house manager had been appointed. Funding would cover staffing costs and general running costs of the house.

"We have one worker who has been employed, and during lockdown they moved into the house to be part of that bubble," Gibson said.

The trust had also approached the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to fund staffing costs.

Strategically, Project Manaaki would need to work in partnership with government departments and agencies, Gibson said.

"We're struggling in at the moment in hope we can make ends meet."

Unexpected expenses was "the area we would greatly appreciate help with".

The MDC grants committee will release its funding decisions in the coming weeks.

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