What do we want to do?
We want to establish a transitional housing service at 240 Rangiuru Road, Te Puke. Up to fifteen men who will be ready and committed to their rehabilitation and living crime-free will live at the property and receive support to transition to independent living in the Bay of Plenty region. Residents will receive 24-7 on-site support from service provider staff, who will work alongside probation officers and other local Community Corrections staff.
Why are we doing this?
There is a significant need for supported housing in the Bay of Plenty for men being released from a corrections facility or needing suitable accommodation to serve a community-based sentence, such as home detention. Every month there are around thirty men with an accommodation need being released from corrections facilities into the Bay of Plenty and, as of April 2021, up to ninety men with an accommodation need serving a community-sentence sentence in the region.
Without a service like this, many of the men who might live at the property would end up living in the Bay of Plenty without the wrap-around support that this service will offer. Some of them may end up homeless or in unsuitable accommodation, which can lead to reoffending.
We know that if we provide people with 24-7 support around employment, education, training and life skills, they will be more successful transitioning back into community life. This service will provide transitional housing and navigational services for residents to develop the skills and access the services and employment needed to reintegrate into the Bay of Plenty community.
How long will residents live at the property?
Most residents will live at the property between six to twelve months, but some may stay for up to eighteen months if they need further support to reintegrate into the community. Residents will be supported to move out earlier if they are ready and have found suitable long-term accommodation. They will continue to receive support after they have moved out, as they transition to life in the community.
Will residents choose to live there?
Residents will be self-motivated to live at the property and will have to undertake a careful and robust assessment and selection process. The service will be opt in and a resident will not be ordered to live at there by the judiciary.
How will we support residents?
A service provider will provide 24-7 wrap-around support and navigational services to each resident to assist them to successfully reintegrate into the community. The service provider will work with probation officers, community social service providers, Work and Income and other agencies to provide support to residents to:
- Find employment
- Ensure they have the clothing, equipment and transport options to remain employed
- Pursue further training and education
- Address health needs
- Develop life skills, such as parenting, budgeting, managing a household or getting a licence
- Build connections with whānau and the wider community
- Strengthen connections to whakapapa and Te Ao Māori
- Find suitable long-term accommodation in the Bay of Plenty.
Is this a prison or a corrections facility?
No, this is not a prison or a corrections facility. This will be a supported accommodation service.
Only people serving community sentences and orders will live at the property. Residents will not be detained by Ara Poutama Aotearoa or service provider staff and will be free to come and go, within the restrictions of the house rules and any conditions on their sentences or orders.
What will typical daily life look like for residents?
Residents will be responsible for daily shared living activities, such as cooking, shopping for groceries, washing clothes and house cleaning, gardening. Most residents will be either employed or in training while living at the property, and those that are not will be actively supported to do so.
There will be a space at the property for physical exercise and recreational activities, and these will be encouraged and will contribute to the overall wellbeing of residents. Residents will be supported into self-directed leisure activities, such as waiata, learning to play a musical instrument or whakairo.
There will be a community garden on the property and residents will be supported to participate in this and other ways to contribute to the local community.
Will residents be employed or in training?
Employment or training is an important support for people who are looking to transition into the community after being sentenced to a correctional facility or a community-based sentence.
Service provider staff will work closely with Ara Poutama Aotearoa employment teams, local employers and government agencies, such as Ministry of Social Development to identify employment and training opportunities for residents to take up while living at the property.
Many of the residents will have recently left a corrections facility will have completed trade training or participated in a Release to Work programme while serving their sentence.
Will residents agree to any rules or restrictions?
Residents will agree to follow house rules, including a curfew, restrictions around visitors and a ban on alcohol. They will need to abide by any conditions they have on their sentences and orders, such as electronic monitoring or directives to not associate with certain individuals or groups.
How will we manage visitors?
Visitors must be pre-approved and will have to apply to visit. They will only be able to visit at pre-arranged set times and must comply with the house rules while at the property. If visitors do not follow the house rules, it may result in them being banned from the property.
How will we manage transport?
Residents will not have access to their own vehicles but may bike or walk outside the property.
The service provider will provide transport for residents to attend employment, education and other services in the community.
How will this address regional homelessness?
All residents will have an identified housing need. Without this service, some of the residents could find themselves homeless or in unsuitable accommodation, without any support. This creates conditions that can lead to reoffending.