One of the best parts about being on council is the exposure I get to the many amazing community groups and charities which operate in our city.
Let’s be frank – many of the social ills we experience as a community should properly be addressed and funded through central government agencies. Sadly, central government often fails to meet the real needs of our most vulnerable.
As is often said, social problems are the government’s responsibility, but the council’s problem. As a result TCC spends considerable amounts of ratepayer funds to combat these issues, and also to support the many charities which are at the front line.
Two such organisations are Kai Aroha and Awhina House.
Kai Aroha does a fantastic job faithfully feeding many hungry and homeless people every Friday night in Greerton. I’ve joined in occasionally and have always been impressed with the aroha and kai served up in equal proportions. Tania and her crew work very hard and should be supported in any way possible. I’m pleased to see that Good Neighbour’s Food Rescue programme is now supplying food for this worthy cause.
Awhina House has only just opened and I’m sure that, like it’s Tauranga Moana Mens Nightshelter equivalent, this will be well utilised by our single homeless women. It’s a sad reality that women are often our ‘hidden homeless’ in that they need to keep themselves out of harm’s way, so can be very wary of coming forward. It was my pleasure to attend the opening of Awhina House, and again see the huge heart that Angela and the women from He Kaupapa Kotahitanga Trust and the Community Angels have for our city’s most vulnerable.
It’s selfless folk like these that inspire me to be a better person, and a better community leader.