The longer I live the more I am convinced that genuine community driven initiatives are too often increasingly misunderstood by many in bureaucracies. A recent decision by MSD has saddened me greatly.
Today I wish to focus on The Loft which serves community initiatives in the Linwood and nearby low decile areas. Recently The Loft was informed by MSD that the bulk of their funding was to be removed. This isn’t a Johnny-come-lately outfit. They have been vigorously assessed to an impressive level. In fact, way higher than MSD ever is.
A report on The Loft by Impact Lab, and personally signed off by their Chair, Sir Bill English, reported in February 2023 started by acknowledging how The Loft operates when somebody appears at their door.
As part of their assessment The Impact Lab assessed The Loft and produced the attached report. I recommend that you read it and ask the question “how could MSD write this organisation off”.
Here’s the report 20230903_TheLoft_GoodMeasure_Rep.pdf (theloftchristchurch.org.nz).
This part of the review covered how people are treated when they visit the centre in Linwood Mall:
The change journey 7 The Loft’s Social Emergency Response Service (SERS) is a one-stop-shop “social emergency department” that wraps multiple services around tāngata whaiora (clients) in social and wellbeing crises, providing confidential, immediate, and multidisciplinary responses for what are often complex challenges.
- Accessing SERS Whaiora (clients) learn of SERS by word of mouth or through a referral from another organisation or agency.
- The Loft’s hours are between 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday – Friday.
- Accessibility Whaiora can access SERS in person, by phone, video call, or email.
- Location The Loft is easily accessible, with sufficient parking, close to public transport and located in a neutral and non-stigmatised site at Eastgate Shopping Centre, Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Greeting Whaiora are greeted with manaakitanga and aroha by The Loft’s Tautāwhi Manuhiri, offered a drink, and made to feel comfortable and welcomed. No one is turned away or denied service.
Triage & Needs assessment Triage Whaiora are triaged by the Tautāwhi Manuhiri (Visitor Mentor) and Kaitūhono Hapori (Community Connectors) based on the level of distress presented and are guided to a private room with the Kaitūhono Hapori for a wellbeing needs assessment.
Wellbeing Needs Assessment Whaiora review and sign the confidentiality agreement and confirm any agencies or organisations they do not want contacted.
Whaiora are clearly advised that SERS is a crisis/brief intervention support and not a long-term service provider.
Kaitūhono Hapori conducts a tailored wellbeing needs assessment and listens to the whaiora’s story to understand their needs or any immediate safety concerns. The average assessment duration is around 40 minutes but can extend as long as the whaiora needs. Once the assessment is completed, whaiora are provided information and/or referred to any relevant services with a warm handover when possible.
Navigation Referrals When relevant, whaiora are referred to services co-located within The Loft. These handovers are coordinated within the shared office space.
These internal referrals include: Aviva, Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Law, Plunket, and more.
When referrals cannot be met by the organisations co-located in the Loft, whaiora are referred to external organisations.
These external referrals often include: Linwood Medical Centre, Barnardos, Oranga Tamariki, St. Vincent de Paul and more.
Advocacy & Ongoing Support When deemed appropriate or necessary, with the whaiora’s consent, the Kaitūhono Hapori advocate for the whaiora by setting up meetings on their behalf or speaking with a third party directly.
When requiring additional and ongoing support, Kaitūhono Hapori can return to SERS.
This excellent community organisation should be defended by us in the community. We should be asking the Labour Party why they have abandoned this organisation and stopped their funding.