The Commons Project celebrates one-year

It’s been one year since we launched The Commons Project, creating a weekly space for those most vulnerable in the city to be able to connect, engage with services, share kai and creative activities.

Every Wednesday between 10:00am and 1:00pm people come together at the Gap Filler Commons site on the corner of Kilmore and Durham Streets. For those sleeping rough, it’s a safe space they can come along to every week to get some free kai, wash their clothes and have a chat. Over the past year the project has evolved to bring in a wide range of services and creative activities, fostering a valuable sense of community for those who may be isolated.

“The central city is an important place of connection for our kaewa, therefore having a presence in town helps with social integration along with creating a stronger and more resilient community” says Housing First Ōtautahi Community Development Worker Jono.

The range of onsite services and activities at The Commons has expanded over the past year, including Christchurch City Libraries mobile library van and Orange Sky’s laundry and shower van. Art and music activities also take place regularly, with the White Room Creative Space bringing their mobile printing press along for kaewa to create their own artworks.

The weekly events provide an important opportunity to check in with those who are sleeping rough. In the year since The Commons Project began we’ve been able to reach more people in need of our support, who may otherwise have slipped between the cracks.

“Amongst the many highlights, one has been the number of referrals completed for joining the Housing First Ōtautahi programme” says Jono. “From there appropriate support can be put in place which has eventually led to housing for some. It’s important that this project continues to grow and more support comes onboard to journey along with members of our most vulnerable community.”

We’d like to extend our gratitude to all those who have helped us establish and grow The Commons Project over the last year. “As always it’s a team effort” says Jono. “Special thanks goes to our kaewa, our street community, Linda and the Gap Filler crew, Nameeta and the CCC Library outreach team, Blaire and Simon from White Room Creative, the amazing volunteers that support Orange Sky, He Waka Tapu and Josh from the City Mission.”

Comcare Trust
Te Whare Roimata
Emerge Aotearoa
Christchurch City Mission
Christchurch Methodist Church