The Street People Project provides banking and money management services for people who are unable to use mainstream banking services.
Some of the main reasons for this are:
no fixed abode;
previous criminal convictions;
lack of identification; or
tresspass order from entering a bank.
There continues to be a steady stream of people requiring this service due to their personal circumstances, such as recently leaving prison or in a situation where not having this service could create more disadvantage and increase the likelihood of resorting to criminal behaviour.
Most of our service users are surviving on low incomces, including WINZ benefits.
Once signed up to the Street People Project, regular automatic payments are able to be set up, ensuring the basic needs of food, rent and power are met.
Service users are encouraged to be accountable to their debtors and regular payments are set up to manage this.Developing savings skills is also highly encouraged. Where necessary, DCM acts as advocate with agencies such as WINZ, health providers, retailers, banks and courts.
The Street People Project grew out of a drop-in centre that DCM ran during the 1990s at Wesley Church in Taranaki Street. At this time, the focus was on providing recreational activites and assisting service users to find work. The need for a banking service was identified, and one of the service users themselves began organising the project, and became its first coordinator.