Laurie reflects on five years of work with Community Gateway.
Laurie works in our community hub, providing direct support and crisis relief to vulnerable people. Prior to the floods, Laurie was busy enough. But since February, requests for our support have increased dramatically.
Through our community hub, Laurie and the rest of our intake team provide direct supports that include emergency relief, food boxes, vouchers for electricity, fuel, supermarkets and chemists, general information and referrals.
They talk to every person requesting support to determine their needs, and provide immediate access to our suite of wrap-around support services, which include counselling, NILs no interest loans, volunteering, childcare, supports for families, parents, people experiencing domestic violence and homelessness.
“We do things this way, with wrap-around services to make our services personalised to each client, so we can support them out of the crisis they’re in and build their resilience to stay out of crisis.”
“In the time I’ve worked here, I’ve seen many people come through our doors in crisis. With some, we do what we can to support them and then they go away, only to come back months later in the same boat. But I can think of so many examples where you can see our support giving people the break they need to sort themselves out.”
“Before the floods, there’s been one lady who came to us, she’d been evicted, was homeless and her children had been taken away by care authorities. We provided her with immediate vouchers for food, got her into crisis accommodation, counselling and over the following weeks supported her into more permanent accommodation.”
“Since then, she’s come back to get some budget counselling and get a NILs no interest loan to buy a computer. The last time I saw her she said that her kids had been returned.”
“It’s honestly been amazing to see this lady move out of crisis, get settled and sort her life out. I feel so proud to be involved in this kind of work.”
Read more about our community hub services here.