Outside the Koha Shed at 11am on a Monday, five cars are parked in the driveway. A young family with two children no older than six congregate by the front door.
A car driven by a young woman parks on the grass verge outside. A man in his 50s sits on a bench in the sun.
The community charity isn't even supposed to be open today.
"It doesn't stop" Koha Shed founder and manager Sherron Sunnex says, as she puts down a bag of clothes and pulls up a chair.
"It's just full-on."
The Koha Shed first opened its doors 10 years ago, when Sunnex purchased four big sacks of clothing to give away to people in need. Since then, the organisation has grown dramatically, from a base in Sunnex's garage to dedicated premises.
In 2015, it was one of the main relief groups in response to the Whanganui floods. The organisation completely refurnished around 200 homes of families devastated by the floods, supplying everything from beds and couches to whiteware and kitchen items.
In 2016, the organisation moved to a new base on Duncan Street, purchased from the local Scout group. The building is now used as the shop, a wide array of items free of charge to people in need.
The organisation is one of the only groups in Whanganui equipped to deal with emergencies, and often during weekends and nights.
"We're the only ones available weekends or after hours if there's an emergency. If somebody's house burnt down or somebody were kicked out of the house in the middle of the night because of domestic violence or whatever else, they would normally contact us."
"I'm a light sleeper, so I usually hear the phone go off in the night."
Sunnex says that demand at the moment is the highest the group has seen, with almost 300 people coming through the building every week looking for items such as clothing and kitchen utensils.
Complete home set-up packs', a package including furniture and kitchen necessities to help get a family up and running, has shown the biggest spike in demand.
"We've done around thirty of the complete packs this year so far, with absolutely everything to get people back on their feet."
The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has kept the Koha Shed busy. During the lockdown, volunteers travelled across the district handing out 164 packages of clothing, bedding and essential items, all while maintaining social distancing.
And demand hasn't let up, says Sunnex.
"We are seeing new families every week. It's not the same families each week, and it's everyone from young mums to single pensioners."
However, Sunnex believes the increased demand isn't just due to higher rates of unemployment from the Covid-induced recession. Housing is one of the most fundamental issues Whanganui is grappling with, she says.
With lack of housing comes an increase in homelessness. In recent weeks she has had to hand out tents to people in need, including families living on a lawn at relatives' homes.
One regular recipient of the group's services lives in a car with his 8-year-old daughter.
The organisation also runs a small emergency food bank, providing people in need with around two days of food to get them through until they can arrange an appointment with the City Mission food bank.
"Because a lot of the people we deal with are experiencing emergencies, we give them enough to last them until they can get an appointment with the Mission or they're back on their feet."
A community garden at the back of the shed, looked after by volunteers, provides fresh produce for families in need.
Overall, nine volunteers help at the organisation, with three or four working each day. One of the gardening volunteers is more than 80 years old.
The Koha Shed is gearing up to provide a "cracker" of an annual Christmas party, where attendees will be given a delicious meal and a gift.
Big-ticket, brand new items, mostly donated by the public, have been put aside through the year in preparation for the event.
"We don't have much storage, but half of the back room is full of stuff ready to go."
Sunnex is hoping strong community support will provide 400 gifts hand out to families on Christmas Day.
"It's a big job, but we'll get it done."
Sunnex says the role of looking after the shed is one of the most rewarding she could have ever imagined.
Asked if it's a full-time role, Sunnex laughs.
"Families really struggle to get stuff together to start again. People just don't have the means."
"I just saw a need, and decided to do something about it."
*Donations of goods can be dropped off to the Koha Shed at 88 Duncan Street.