Chris* is a 49-year-old male who has multiple health concerns, including diabetes and alcoholism. He met LinkPeople after being referred to our housing service by MSD. Chris had been living transiently for about two years – couch surfing between family and friends and sleeping rough in his storage shed when there was no other place for him.
Chris made the decision to seek help with his drinking and has remained sober since January 2017. With LinkPeople’s support, he found a place to call home and has successfully remained housed for 5 months in a property purpose built by supportive landlords and managed by LinkPeople.
Chris needed support in a range of areas, including budgeting, obtaining his restricted driver licence, spectacles and ACC support. After settling into his new home, a LinkPeople service navigator met with Chris to talk about his needs and what his goals were.
He explained that he wanted to apply for a restricted driver licence so he could better support his family, but he had little knowledge about how to do this or the costs involved. Chris knew he needed glasses to get his licence too, but because finances were a major barrier for him he didn’t think it was an option that would be available to him. Chris completed a budget himself that, although manageable, was not decreasing his debt. He asked to meet with a budgeting service to discuss assistance with managing this. He was also seeking support for an ACC claim review from a car crash several years ago.
The service navigator explained to Chris that he would be able to access financial support through Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) for his driver licence and the glasses – however, the cost of the glasses would be recoverable.
Chris was given information about how to apply for a restricted licence, the costs involved, a list of local driving agents and a licence application form. He was also given a list of preferred optometrists that he would need to take into a meeting with WINZ to ensure financial support was available before he could see a specialist.
The service navigator also helped Chris to get in contact with a satellite budgeting service at a local community house close to his home, and gave him contact details for an ACC advocate to follow up on his review claim application.
In the following weeks, Chris saw an optometrist and now has glasses and an affordable repayment plan through WINZ. Having glasses has made a significant difference to his life, and while he is yet to get his restricted driver licence, he is looking forward to completing this soon.
Chris’s engagement with his budgeter has resulted in robust but healthy conversations and he is now much more aware of his options moving forward. He has proactively engaged with an ACC advocate to address a review of his case and is excited for the future.
Chris is a talented musician who is using and sharing his gifts with others in the complex where he lives. He has been attending a community church regularly where he is overseeing an emergence of a new band. Chris gives his time to teaching others to play instruments and encourages others to sing as a form of therapy.
“There is no big sentence to describe how I feel about LinkPeople’s services, only two words: very awesome!”
*name changed to protect identity.