The In the Know Hub at Eastgate Shopping Centre has been open for nine weeks now and it’s proving to be of enough value to keep it going until (at least) the end of August. The weekly Thursday seminars have been well attended and we hope the videos are being shared far and wide to those who would benefit. Numbers are averaging a steady 50 people a day and the feedback from those people is positive. But who is coming and what really happens at the Hub?
There are three different groups of people that come to the Hub. Firstly there are those people who are coming for an appointment they have made with EQC Customer Contact Team, Residential Advisory Service or Earthquake Support Coordinators. They know who they are seeing and why they are there.
Secondly there are the walk-ins. Walk-ins may be dropping in to talk to council because they know they are there are that time or they could just be coming to find out if the Hub has something to offer them. These people are greeted by our awesome community hosts who have a bit of a yak to understand how they can get the best support in place. Help may look like a few different options – answering a simple question, an introduction to the right team at the Hub (EQC Customer Contact Team, RAS, ESCS, CCC, MBIE), escalating a case to a private insurer for some attention or just being heard by people who know how tough it can be to be a resident trying to get through the earthquake claim process. They are great listeners and that’s their speciality.
The third group is a more troubling set of people. These are the people who might walk past the Hub a few times looking in but not stepping inside. They can stand outside and can seem a bit lost. These are people who might know that the Hub is there to help but have no real idea of how to explain what they need. They may have found that all things earthquake related now overwhelm them so even the thought of starting that conversation can be a tough decision. These people are also the community host’s speciality – they’re pretty good at spotting them, reaching out and offering the right kind of care and support. We love our hosts!
We are seeing some good progress for residents who come into the Hub and although it’s not always lightning fast yet (we’re working on that), people have a pretty good shot of at least being put in touch with the right people to help. We can say hand on heart that the people who staff the Hub from all the different agencies and organisations are working incredibly hard to help the people that walk through the door. But from CanCERN’s perspective, we are also seeing where things could be done better within the agencies to support their own frontline staff – wait times reduced, follow ups done quicker, and resolution reached earlier. These are organisational issues for the most part so we will do what we have always done and that is to work with the agencies to see where and how improvements for homeowners can be made. We can almost hear the cries of, ‘too little too late’ but we are determined that we will continue to get things working better for those who are still in the thick of it.
If you live on the other side of town to Eastgate or are planning to go to the Star Home and Leisure Show this weekend, come find us and have a chat about how In the Know Hub may be able to help you or someone you know.