Day Shelter opened to meet increasing need

Day Shelter peer support people (from left) Brenda Leader, Frances Chenery and Michael...
Day Shelter peer support people (from left) Brenda Leader, Frances Chenery and Michael Chamberlain check out some of the donated clothes at the shelter yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Increasing levels of homelessness and poverty in the community have led to the opening of a new day shelter in South Dunedin.

The recently opened Day Shelter runs every Tuesday at the Presbyterian Support Otago building in Macandrew Rd.

It provides food, clothing, showers and hygiene products to people needing support, along with a cuppa and people to talk to.

The peer support trio behind the service are hoping to expand it to include Friday afternoons, to help meet demand.

One of them, Frances Chenery, said while it was primarily targeted at homeless people, there was no criteria for getting assistance.

"We also get people who are living in garages, cars, have no food, have no clothes — we’ve had everything," Ms Chenery said.

"We’re not going to look at them and go ‘you look too well dressed, off you go’.

"‘Come on in’, we say to people."

Fellow peer support person Michael Chamberlain said there was a "huge void" of support, which had been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That was going to get worse, he said.

His colleague Brenda Leader agreed.

"Some people don’t realise how serious homelessness is in Dunedin."

The structure for how the service was managed and funded was still being worked through, Mr Chamberlain said.

Anyone wanting to get in touch, or offer support, can contact the office on 425-8018 or Ms Chenery on 021981-204.


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