Mine is a still, small voice but I want to repeat my reminder that a city is not just bricks and mortar; that it is actually people. And I want the citizens of this rebuilt city to remember that an important part of the Story of Christchurch is our record of compassion for those who haven’t yet managed to live the Kiwi dream and that if they are not part of our dream city it will be little more than another shallow television advertisement.
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I heard about a young couple who went to a house auction. With the benefit of a small inheritance they had saved $85,000. They had arranged a $100,000 mortgage and they were hoping to buy their first home; a 2 bedroom unit on the east side with a Government Valuation of $160,000. As soon as they walked into the auction room they knew they didn’t have a hope. All the other prospective buyers were ‘investors’ and the unit sold for nearly double the Valuation.
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I’ve got used to small miracles since I came to the Mission. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have questioned our ability to keep on going; and the number of times my doubts have been overwhelmed by small miracles.
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In 2014 nearly 250 people sought and received help from the Mission’s Thorpe House Residential Social (non-medical) Detox service – nearly 130 of them were new to this service.
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Leah’s partner had found work in Christchurch with a building company. So they packed up all their belongings and put them in storage, then headed south to Christchurch to stay with his family while they got themselves sorted and a new life underway. Five weeks later he was unemployed (the building company had collapsed), their relationship had broken up and she found herself on a benefit, with three small children, and paying a too-high rent.
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