Salvation Army asking for help in Tauranga
The Salvation Army is appealing to the public to spare a thought for people living in poverty over the colder months.
The Tauranga centre have a consistently high demand across winter, with more than 21 people through the doors every week seeking social welfare assistance with basic needs predominately for food and blankets.
Many people also access our budgeting advice, counselling, parenting and positive lifestyle programmes, and ask for help with loans and transitional housing.
Jono Bell, The Salvation Army's National Director of Community Ministries, says vulnerable people struggle with warmth, shelter and food over the winter period, which can exacerbate or cause health problems.
“Substandard housing and poor heating often lead to sickness and people don’t always get to a doctor when they should.”
The latest Ministry of Health’s Annual Data Explorer found that around one in seven adults reported not visiting a GP due to cost, and this figure had not changed significantly from 2011/2012.
“It’s not only the fees that can be a barrier, but also transport costs to get there. Even with free doctors’ visits for children under 13, if there’s no car, no petrol and no bus money, it’s near impossible for some whanau,” says Jono.
Children from the most disadvantaged communities are twice as likely to end up in hospital for medical conditions and three times more likely to be hospitalised for respiratory conditions compared to those from the most advantaged communities.
The Salvation Army relies heavily on public donations to provide essential services to 120,000 people each year. The organisation is pleading for those more fortunate to dig deep and donate to its Winter Appeal.
“We provide emergency help and services for long-term transformational change to disadvantaged communities, but we can’t do it alone – we need public support,” says Jono.
The Salvation Army provides food parcels, budgeting advice, social work, youth development, and emergency and transitional housing to New Zealand’s most vulnerable families and individuals.
Specialist services include addictions support, emergency crisis support, reintegration services, senior support and chaplaincy support in courts and prisons.
“Our work will not let up in the coming months as people continue to struggle with keeping the house warm and food on the table.
“We humbly ask people to give generously to our Winter Appeal so we can continue to fight poverty in New Zealand,” says Jono.
The Salvation Army Winter Appeal runs from 8 July until the end of the month and people can donate by visiting www.salvationarmy.org.nz/winter.