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Women and children are focus of new homeless shelter

A homeless shelter for women and children is proposed for Taupō to cope with a chronic accommodation shortage.

With reports of more and more people becoming homeless, a new team has arrived to replicate a shelter they have set up in Rotorua.

Tiny and Lynley Deane are the founders of Visions of a Helping Hand Charitable in Rotorua.

They and their their team have already had success with a drop-in centre and women's shelter in Rotorua and now there are plans to bring the same thing to Taupō.

Deane wants to let the Taupo community know all about the trust and homelessness to garner support for the new venture. He is holding a public meeting next Wednesday to gauge interest.

"We want to let them know who we are and to give them an awareness on homelessness," Tiny Deane said.

The plans for Taupo includes a 12-room women's and children's shelter, drop in centre and a second-hand goods store.

Deane was unsure of the exact number of homeless in Taupō but was certain they would fill a 12-room facility comfortably.

"Homelessness effects people from all walks of life," he said.

"They could be living in a garage or a friend's couch or car."

Following the success of the shelter in Rotorua, Deane has been made aware of similar situations of homelessness in Taupo.

"There have been five different examples brought to my attention," he said.

"A number of people have contacted us, asking if we can help."

And that's what the team intends to do.

Visions of a Helping Hand has been running in Rotorua for the past eight months. They have around-the clock security, they give out breakfast and lunches. There is a gym', te reo classes, nurse visits and haircuts, and other services.

Deane is planning on running the Taupō shelter the same way but with dinners added in as well.

Taupō Mayor, David Trewavas, said he had been talking to Deane and understood the shelter had been successful in Rotorua. 

He said the council would happily support anyone that was happy to support the community in such a way. 

"We encourage anyone that can help," he said.

"If someone's prepared to stand up and do it, we really appreciate it."

Deane hopes some of those at the meeting would be willing to help out as he needs volunteers and sponsors to help with the venture.

The public meeting will be held on March 14th at the Great Lake Centre from 6.30pm

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