House sale keeps vans on street

The $15,000 in proceeds from the sale of UCOL's 2013 charity house arrived just at the right time for Palmerston North Street Van as it moved into new premises in King St.

The house was built by level four carpentry students in the Faculty of Trades and Technology, with the cash handed over this week.

Street Van co-ordinator Lew Findlay said that the 18-year-old organisation had just moved across the road from its home near the back of the Regent on Broadway to the former Wesley building, once a second-hand shop.

"We have so much more room, for pool tables and a coffee machine and support."

As well as moving expenses, Street Van also faced bills for repairs to its vans, which operate around the city at night helping people who need food, a hot drink, or safe transport home.

It also runs several Shepherd's Rest accommodation facilities and support programmes for people with addictions.

"We as an organisation are so thankful to the UCOL staff and students for the effort they have put in to make this donation," he said.

Street Van gets no taxpayer support, no city council support apart from a rates remission, and relies entirely on community donations.

UCOL Head of School for the Built Environment Danny Reilly said he was pleased to be able to help.

"It's an organisation funded through community support, and we consider ourselves a community polytechnic.

"Students get a lot out of being able to contribute to their communities while they learn real-life skills that will help them gain employment."

The present UCOL charity house is nearly complete and will be auctioned later in the year to raise money for Arohanui Hospice.

Manawatu Standard