The first COVID lockdown was hard for most New Zealanders, but it was doubly hard for Sarah when she lost her home in the middle of it.

Sarah* and her three young children had been living with her grown daughter and her daughter’s partner but she had taken her children to Whakatane for a holiday with her parents just before a COVID lockdown was announced. 

 While she was stranded in Whakatane her daughter’s relationship ended and she could no longer return to that house, effectively giving her nowhere for her and her children to return to once the lockdown ended. 

 However, by getting in touch with Monte Cecilia she was able to arrange a home for herself and her children to return to at Monte Cecilia’s Windrush Close transitional housing community. 

 “I’ve always been an independent person so it was hard asking for help,” Sarah says. “But that hardship is now gone and I’m looking forward to the new year. Being with Monte Cecilia has been the highlight of my year. I’m really grateful that Monte Cecilia has helped me in such a short timeframe.” 

Monte Cecilia has since set her up with one of our three-bedroom community houses in Papakura, which she has been busy transforming from a house into a home. 

She has continued to be an active member of the Monte Cecilia community, recently taking part in the FAITH financial literacy programme.

*Not her real name