Manurewa Marae step closer to opening doors to homeless

By Harata Brown

Manurewa Marae is one step closer to opening its doors to the homeless. While preparations for the move are under way, Māori youth onsite are upskilling in financial literacy.

New furniture for the Manurewa Marae kitchen is expected to arrive shortly and will help prepare food for those in need. 

Manurewa Marae Transitional Chief Executive Lorraine Byers says, "We've had amazing support from the community with donations to get some of our infrastructure fixed. That includes our sink and getting a new stove, so we have been quite lucky."

Ms. Byers also says they aim to provide shelter for fewer than 100 people, with whānau being the main priority.

"So it's all about planning things well. We're covering our health and safety, risk management, coordination of volunteers and donations."

The marae also has external and internal groups who run social services.

Today, future Marae leaders are involved in a financial literacy program called Money Matters.

Tiana Bishop of Ngati Kahungunu, Ngāpuhi says, “The facilitator is just really helpful around how we manage ourselves and how we budget. Budgeting is a big deal, especially around this area."

Ngāpuhi’s Kaleb Matene also says, “(The program) is actually good for me, to save money for my studies and on my pathway to becoming a social worker.”

Money Matters Facilitator Lynnette Wharerau says the students are working towards having a new set of skills, “So they can utilise them in a way where they can actually help other people as well. They're really conscious of that.”

Furthermore, Manurewa Marae aims to open their doors for the homeless before August 2016.