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People in need get helping hand at Turanga

Thursday, November 15, 2018   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: support, Vulnerability, services, community engagement

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 15th November 2018

Joanne Tippett has a friendly smile and listening ear for the city’s most vulnerable when they come to the new central library.

She is the new Community Liaison at Tūranga, and so far, her days have been hectic. “It’s definitely been busier than I expected. It’s early days yet, but it might just stay really busy.”

Joanne Tippett is the Community Liaison person at Tūranga.Homeless people make up the biggest group of people Ms Tippett sees on a daily basis.

There are some regulars who she knows from working at the Central Library Peterborough before Tūranga opened, but also some new faces. “I’m just getting to know them and building up some rapport and trust.”

She works full-time and is based on the ground floor (He Hononga|Connection), but also moves around the other floors wherever she is needed.

“If a library staff member sees someone who might need some assistance or is looking vulnerable they can seek me out and I’ll pop up and check in with that person and see how they’re travelling. If accommodation is an issue I can take it from there.”

Ms Tippett has established relationships with community agencies such as the City Mission, Housing First, Street Wise, the YWCA and YMCA.

She is keen to work with refugee and migrant communities and with elderly people, and happy to do some outreach work.

Her goal is to introduce programmes at Tūranga that will be targeted to the needs of homeless people. These could include budgeting advice, help with getting a driver licence, or help putting together a CV to apply for jobs.

She would also like to set up some inittiatives that will encourage older people to come to the new library.

“The library’s management team is committed to making it a welcoming environment and providing a service for our vulnerable residents. It’s an amazing environment to work in and an awesome job,” she says.

Ms Tippett has spent more than 20 years working in the fields of youth work, youth justice and adult social services in Australia, Britain and New Zealand.