The manager of the Tauranga Moana Men's Shelter has asked the council for $100,000 to help it build 10 new rooms.
Addressing the Tauranga City Council's community and culture committee meeting yesterday, shelter manager Annamarie Angus said the shelter wanted to build 10 one-bedroom units on its Elizabeth St site.
The units would help men ready to start transitioning back to a more normal life develop independence and would free 10 spaces in the 20-bed shelter.
She said the shelter would rent the units at a subsidised rate to help it pay off a Bay Trust low-interest loan towards the building. The council funding could come from the council-administered Stewart Trust Fund, she said, at no cost to ratepayers.
Angus told councillors the story of Steve, who came to the shelter in 2014 after living rough on the streets of Tauranga for seven years.
He once had a family and a rental home but lost it all after suffering a head injury and losing the movement in his right arm.
He developed depression and lost his benefits, then his home and family.
Steve started living rough and developed drug and alcohol habits. He was in very poor health when he came to the shelter.
As of February last year he was in a permanent home, his health was improving, and he had reunited with his family, Angus said. He was "judicial-free, debt-free and drug- and alcohol-free. That's the miracle that can happen with unconditional support."
The shelter had helped 360 homeless people since it opened in 2014, she said.
Demand for services was increasing, she said, and staff did not have time to "continually jump through hoops" to apply for funding, only to be told they did not meet the criteria.
Angus' request came as part of an end-of-year update to the council by services that work with homeless people in Tauranga.
Davina Plummer, from the Salvation Army, talked about some new services introduced this year, including branching out into emergency housing with a contract for 16 properties, 12 of which were in use.
Its no-interest, no-fee, microfinance loan service launched a couple of months ago had been used to buy car seats and pay for medical costs, among other things.
Tommy Wilson, of Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust, said that since April the trust's stock of emergency housing had grown from one to 11, plus 12 motel rooms.
Most of the people his staff worked with were "mums and kids who want to change", he said.
The trust was paying $750,000 a year in rent and he was looking at ways to get better value out of that money.
Tauranga Moana Men's Night Shelter
- Opened September 2014
- 20 beds
- Has helped 360 men since opening
- Transitions about 40 a year off the streets
- Plan to add 10 one-bedroom units, conditional on funding
Begging bylaw coming too slow for some
A councillor says council staff are "delaying" the process to draft a bylaw banning begging in Tauranga.
In a Tauranga City Council committee meeting yesterday Larry Baldock said the proposed timeline would mean the bylaw would not be ready to go out for community consultation until June.
The council had been clear it wanted the issue dealt with quickly and that was too slow, he said.
"This is a classic way of delaying this process and I am deeply disturbed about it."
Council community services manager Phillip King said staff would be busy with the Long Term Plan process in the first half of next year. The proposed timeline could be brought forward weeks but not months.
Mayor Greg Brownless and councillor Bill Grainger supported Baldock's view but those three were out-voted by the other five members of the community, who supported the timeline, which combined the begging bylaw investigation with a review of the council's Street Use and Public Places Bylaw.