A new community centre set to open its doors in July is set to be the jewel of Rotorua, its founder says.
The Miss Rotorua Foundation has started work on the Miss Rotorua Community Centre.
Director Kharl WiRepa said the Miss Rotorua Community Centre was about inspiring people to be the best versions of themselves and allowing individuals to reach for the stars.
"Miss Rotorua is about finding your dreams and bringing those dreams into reality. It's important that a special place where the leadership has a mentality of beauty, love and kindness is available to our people here in Te Arawa."
He said there was an obvious need for the centre in the city, referring to data such as Ministry of Social Development figures showing there were more than 5000 people on the jobseeker benefit in Rotorua as of March and more than 1000 people in emergency housing in Rotorua last year.
WiRepa said the city also had high methamphetamine use and truancy rates.
"With these rising social issues Rotorua has a future of methamphetamine, homelessness, unemployment and low education.
"Confronting these topics is the Miss Rotorua Foundation's aim."
WiRepa said the foundation had already begun employment programmes, addiction services, arts projects, confidence programmes and more.
"The Miss Rotorua Foundation will be working tirelessly to change the lives of whānau in our community.
"It is crucial the community recognise the fall in our moral fibre and ensure we take action to heal our people.
"Our community is in a desperate situation. Methamphetamine is disgustingly rampant and it needs to be addressed ... people need hope."
He said the Miss Rotorua Foundation had the power and ability to provide people with pathways to achieving their dreams.
"For years the Miss Rotorua Foundation has helped bring people out of deprivation. Now with the opening of the centre the organisation can achieve more."
He said the foundation had been working on the community centre project for seven months.
The centre is currently under renovation, and installing a dance studio and classroom spaces.
The Miss Rotorua Foundation has received $120,000 from Rotorua Trust towards the project and a further $20,000 from Rotorua Lakes Council- Neighbourhood Matchfund.
The project will cost half a million dollars in the first year, WiRepa said.
"Without this support the community centre would not be able to happen. The official opening will be on July 17 but the building is currently operating now."
He said the organisation had already begun employability and confidence courses.
"Last week there was a makeup and eyelash course for people from around the Bay of Plenty. There will also be a tikanga wānanga programme starting next week and some health and wellbeing programmes starting up."
He said the organisation was also working closely with other service providers, including Ally Watson from Rotorua Clothing Exchange, Dress for Success BOP, Mauri Tau Mauri Ora Trust, Top Staff Employment and Rotorua Multicultural Council.
He was looking forward to the completion of the centre's renovations.
"I have had crystal chandeliers installed throughout the building, alongside authentic French and baroque furniture. We are using a lot of white and gold tones throughout the space."
He said the facility would be the jewel of the city, and the foundation had been lucky with the support it has had.
This year the foundation will welcome Annette Brons as its new trust chairwoman.
WiRepa said Brons had worked in the medical field for the past three decades and owned several businesses.
"Annette is a great asset to the foundation and will lead the organisation into a new horizon."
The Miss Rotorua Foundation will be launching the 2022 beauty pageant in July. Entries are currently open and the foundation can be contacted at email@example.com or its Facebook page. The centre is at 1181 Pukuatua St.