Freedom Furniture has donated two large storage units worth of new furniture to help Rotorua charity Visions of a Helping Hand get homeless people in housing.

Co-founders Tiny and Lynley Deane said the donated items ranged from lounge suites to tables, chairs and outdoor furniture.

To date, about 85 to 90sq m of boxed furniture has arrived, with more to come.

"The people we work with are over the moon to have second-hand furniture when they find homes, let alone brand new, high-quality items like this. It just gives them an amazing start," Lynley said.


She said the charity, which opened homeless shelters in Rotorua and Taupō last year, was "really grateful".

"These people are stepping out of an emergency situation."

Sanctuary Manaakitanga on Pukuatua St has officially opened today.

The call from Freedom Furniture came "out of the blue".

"We were actually looking at some accommodation at the time and saying how it would be perfect for families - all it needed was some couches," Lynley said.

"Often when people come to us, they have left behind the furniture they have. They just fit whatever they can in their car, because they can't afford the rent anymore, and they can't afford the storage."

Tiny Deane, from Visions of a Helping Hand. Photo / File
Tiny Deane, from Visions of a Helping Hand. Photo / File

Tiny said it was "a pretty awesome feeling to know what this donation means for the parents and kids staying with us, who have nothing".

"We find there are businesses that are aware of the homelessness problem and would like to help, but they don't know how. We can work with them on that."

Freedom Furniture New Zealand's managing director, Deb Ridling, told the Rotorua Daily Post: "After seeing their wonderful efforts on the news, we got in touch direct and are delighted that our donation will be used in the Visions of a Helping Hand shelters and to assist struggling families as they move into homes.


"When we see a specific need that we are in the right position to help with... it's a no-brainer for us."