A safe place to rest your head

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2 October 2017

A housing collaboration between Housing New Zealand, Reconnect Family Services and Ministry of Social Development is providing a safe, modern home for troubled youth in South Auckland.

The new 5 bedroom home in South Auckland, which is leased to Reconnect by Housing New Zealand, is the result of 12 months hard work to deliver a purpose built, short-term care facility.

"Working with a range of young people with high and complex needs, we needed a way of providing short term care for youth that do not have a secure permanency plan or a secure placement," says Dean Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Reconnect Family Services.

"Establishing these facilities is a complex job, but working with Housing New Zealand made it an easy process."

Officially blessed by local kaumatua Gary Platt, Te Hira Pere, Charles Herewini and Rachael Page on 25 September, the new home will provide a safe haven for 3 at risk youth and will be supported by 5 youth workers on site.

The modern, single level home features enough space to sleep three clients, as well as a bedroom for the house parents and an office.

Mr Kelly hopes that more facilities like this can be done in collaboration with Housing New Zealand, particularly as they provide a safe haven for vulnerable youth.

He also sees Housing New Zealand as an important part of the Reconnect team, working hard to help youth achieve better futures.

"Reconnect owes a deep gratitude to Community Group Housing Senior Project Manager, Karen Williams who worked with us during the establishment process. Karen is a true star and both her and Wayne Brown, who is now working with us, are very much part of the Reconnect Whanau helping us to support our youth."

L-R Sally Natan (Reconnect Family Services, Board Member) Paul Devane (New Zealand Police) Michael Schmidt (New Zealand Police), Karen Williams (HNZ Project Manager, Community Group Housing), Dean Kelly (CEO, Reconnect Family Services) and Niuleeonnie Kaiuha (Reconnect Family Services).

About Reconnect Family Services

A registered NGO and charity, Reconnects forerunner organisation was founded in 1971 with the vision of helping at risk 11-16 year-old youth achieve better futures. Working with a range of young people with high and complex needs, youth referred to Reconnects programmes usually have histories of family dysfunction, sexual and violent offending, drug and alcohol addiction, theft, and antisocial behaviour, and are often placed under Reconnects care subject to Family Group Conference (FGC) Plans or court order decisions.

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