At the time, Sheryl* was receiving just $45 government assistance for three extra children and had to stretch the money she received for herself and her four children to keep the household afloat. Her struggle to keep on top of the bills, led her to Te Arawa Whānau Ora, where she was assisted with food, rent arrears and an overdue power bill through the Whānau Direct grant.
“I was freaking out as we were going into lockdown, wondering if we going to get our power cut off,” says Sheryl. “And my rent arrears have been ongoing since October, so I’m so grateful it’s been paid now."
“The kids were buzzing when we got the kai voucher. We did a list together and I let them choose one treat each because it was just before Easter. I was overwhelmed and grateful because it was the start of the lockdown and I didn’t know how I was going to manage shopping with seven children. It really helped that I didn’t have to go into the supermarket as often as I would’ve needed, if I hadn’t received the voucher.”
Sheryl says she’s grateful to service providers, such as Te Arawa Whānau Ora, who can help out families who need it.
“I was really thankful to have those bills done and dealt with. It’s finally over and we can keep moving forward. I think it’s really good for whānau to have this kind of support,” she says.
*Name changed for privacy.