The Methodist Mission

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  • New Youth Housing Facility for Dunedin     08 September 2017
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    Dunedin will be the first city in New Zealand to trial a youth housing facility to keep at-risk youth, including those who engage in prostitution in exchange for accommodation, off the streets.

    Yesterday, the Methodist Mission and Minister for Social Housing Amy Adams announced a transitional youth housing facility would open in the city in January. Mrs Adams was in Dunedin on an election campaign visit.

    The Government would provide about $700,000 over the next two years to convert an existing property and pay service delivery costs for a pilot programme for 48 of Dunedin’s most vulnerable youth.

    The announcement follows revelations 11 of 300 at-risk youth who responded to a 2015 Methodist Mission survey swapped sex for a place to stay.

    The survey also showed 15 (5%) of respondents lived in boarding houses, and 7% slept rough.

    Dunedin Methodist Mission business and development leader Jimmy McLauchlan said six young people at a time would spend 12 weeks in the residence in Woodhaugh St. The residence would be staffed around the clock and support would be offered by social workers and counsellors.

    Facility residents would be required to be enrolled in ongoing education or employment while living there, he said.

    "After the 12 weeks, if they are ready to go on to the next step, we will support them to find a flat and provide ongoing support.

    "But if they are not ready, we certainly won’t be kicking people out."

    If the facility could transition 24 youth a year it would be making a "sizeable" impact.

    "Sadly though, I think we are going to have a lot of demand on our facility. These are issues that are not just going to go away."

    The facility would not be suitable for youth who had been convicted of crimes such as sexual assault and violence and an emphasis would be put on integrating youth into the community.

    Neighbours of the facility had been consulted, he said.

    Methodist Mission southern director Laura Black said if the pilot proved successful she hoped similar youth transition homes would be opened throughout the region.

    Feedback from those who attended the Methodist Mission’s Next Step training programme had informed the type of accommodation that would be offered, she said.

    "They are coping with stuff that would leave me crumpled at the end of the bed.

    "Sometimes they are too tired to concentrate on learning because they are putting all their energy into finding places to stay."

    Mrs Adams said the facility would be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

    "If this works, I think it will absolutely go further, not only in Dunedin but around the country."

    The facility would be one of 1670 transitional facilities established using a $354million fund set aside for transitional housing.

    (Courtesy of Otago Daily Times - Margot Taylor)

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  • Virtual Reality Learning      04 July 2016
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    The Mission is developing exciting new virtual reality education programmes to help develop essential literacy and numeracy skills in foundation learners.

    The Mission is developing a Virtual Mechanic programme where learners will wear headsets to become fully-immersed in a virtual workshop environment where they can perform realistic mechanical tasks (e.g. changing brake pads, or rebuilding an engine) while also performing tasks that develop their literacy and numeracy skills (e.g. identifying the names of parts, or converting tools from imperial to metric).

    The programme takes advantage of an existing area of interest for many of the Mission's foundation education learners (e.g. cars and mechanics) to increase enthusiasm for learning and build on existing confidence and knowledge - all essential ingredients for successful foundation education. Once fully-developed, Virtual Mechanic (and other VR learning programmes) have the potential to transform education delivery to high-needs learners, such as prisoners and at-risk youth.

    For more information, please see the following links:

    To support the development of virtual reality education programmes, you can make a Givealittle donation, or contact the Mission for more information: 03 466 4600, or

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  • Facility For Homeless Youth in Dunedin     04 July 2016
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    The Mission is currently working to establish a Youth Foyer facility to accommodate homeless Dunedin youth and help them develop the skills and resources they need for independent living.

    The Dunedin Youth Foyer will provide a one-stop-shop for homeless youth, with safe, secure accommodation, plus on-site education, training, employment skills, living skill, health services and social support. Youth residents will be transitioned into successful independent living in 6 - 12 months (on average), with ongoing support available as required.

    See the following links for more information:

    To support the proposed Youth Foyer facility, you can make a Givealittle donation, or contact the Mission for more information: 03 466 4600, or

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