Salvation Army calls for support
For most of us, winter is a time to hunker down in the warmth and comfort of our homes.
But for many New Zealanders - even those who do have accommodation - winter can exacerbate existing problems, like financial insecurity, unhealthy homes, mental distress and addictions, says a statement from the Salvation Army.
Around a third of Kiwi homes are too cold over the winter, leading to serious health implications, especially for the elderly or very young, says a spokesperson for the agency.
Forty six per cent of people live in homes that are damp and mouldy and nearly half of New Zealand children are sleeping in bedrooms that are too cold.
Around 30,000 children are hospitalised every year for winter-related illnesses, including asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis.
Salvation Army territorial director for community ministries Jono Bell says every day there’s more for them to do; their workload increased by 254 percent over the last year.
“That meant more financial mentoring and social work sessions, more Positive Lifestyle Programmes and more addiction support than ever before.
“We helped 1774 clients and families into warm, safe homes. Our financial mentors saw clients who were in debt to the tune of $2.7 million last year; their workload increased by a third.
“The Salvation Army is there through many challenges in people’s lives. And we are there to celebrate the good times, too. Our clients become part of The Salvation Army whānau.”
Jono says with the publics help, we can be there for them and for those still in need.
To donate to the Salvation Army Winter Appeal head to www.salvationarmy.org.nz/winterappeal