At a time when Rotorua's most vulnerable need help, a service that gets people back on their feet has had to fold.
Aroha Boutique was the brainchild of Constable Viv Sutton of Rotorua police.
She started collecting clothing, homeware and furniture from her friends last year to pass on to those struggling following the economic fallout of Covid-19.
Before she knew it, she had boxes of items, trailer loads of furniture but nowhere to put it.
A group of volunteers, including social worker Atapo Huriwai, jumped on board and Aroha Boutique opened in an empty building on Pukuatua St.
The service saw Sutton and a band of police colleagues, support workers, social workers and those who worked closely with community organisations selecting needy families to go into the store to "shop" for whatever they needed free of charge.
They would walk out with cots, beds, linen, kitchenware, crockery, clothing and shoes.
Because those running the service knew the families, they only selected those they knew were legitimately struggling and not taking the kindness of the community for granted.
But in May this year, Aroha Boutique found itself homeless after its Pukuatua St building got a paying tenant.
They put all their goods in a storage lock-up and ran the service from there for some months.
However, now their koha has dried up and they can't afford to pay for the storage unit.
Instead, Huriwai was storing some of the goods at her home and Sutton has some items in police storage.
They are hoping for a miracle of either a free empty inner-city building or funding to pay for one.
Huriwai said it was heartbreaking, especially knowing how much good it had done in the past.
"There's such a great need for it. Even today so many people have rung me because sometimes there are things you can't get from Work and Income. A lot of the stuff is small but essential.
"Some people think these people get handed a lot but they are still struggling and some of them are so confused about their rights or where to get things. There's also students and the elderly who are struggling too."
Sutton said sadly there hadn't been any good news to get Aroha Boutique back up and running so it was on a hiatus until something changed.
Given their items left in stock was now in two different places, neither were "customer-friendly".
Meanwhile, Huriwai said she still held out hope.
"I'm keeping the faith. It really is of great need aye."