Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


What a ‘Typical’ Mission Client Looks like

This is What a ‘Typical’ Mission Client Looks like – And She Might Not Be Who You Think She is

Brianna* has been sitting on the footpath outside the Auckland City Mission since 4:30am this morning. She’s 35 years-old, a full-time caretaker for her severely disabled brother and is doing her best to raise two young nieces.

According to a survey of 105 people waiting in line outside the charity’s doors this week, Brianna is statistically ‘typical.’

Her family is the reason she’s here today, hoping to receive a modest food parcel, a gift for each of the two little girls and a $100 grant to help her make it through Christmas.

“People go past and judge, but they don’t always know what’s going on. I spend 85 per cent of my income on rent,” she explains.

She sounds exhausted; but then, so do most of the people in line alongside her – and for good reason.

The survey, conducted by Mission staff over six days and on top of regular individual assessments, shows that the “typical” person in line is a woman (83 per cent) aged between 20-40 years. She probably lives with at least 5 people and there’s a 26 per cent chance that she lives with 7 or more. Of those in her household, it’s highly likely (43%) that at least one is a child born to someone else whom she is helping to raise – either a niece/nephew, grandchild, cousin or young sibling.

Auckland City Missioner, Chris Farrelly, says these findings are particularly poignant following this week’s release of the 2016 Child Poverty Monitor results.

“The Mission’s own figures reflect many of the findings in this year’s Child Poverty Monitor,” says Mr Farrelly.

“For instance, the Monitor shows us that 16 per cent of kiwi children live in overcrowded homes. Our survey reflects this, with 48 per cent of respondents saying they live with 5 or more people. One woman we spoke with yesterday lives with 15 other people, while another couldn’t even say for sure because so many are coming and going on a given day in her household,” he says.

Overcrowding has serious health implications for children in particular, with higher rates of serious illnesses such as Meningococcal Disease and Rheumatic Fever found in households where at least one extra bedroom is needed in order to adequately house the inhabitants.

While the ‘typical’ person in line at the Mission might be classified as unemployed, even this isn’t as straightforward as some might think. It is likely that she is studying (18 per cent), serving as a full-time caregiver for an adult relative, retired or a new mum. Furthermore, if she is unemployed, she is likely to be actively seeking employment (72 per cent of respondents who are unemployed).

In fact, only 11 of the 105 people surveyed were both unemployed (excluding those who were retired, caretakers, new mums or disabled) and not actively looking for work.

“One of the questions we asked people was, if they could name just one thing that would significantly improve their life, what would it be?” says Mr Farrelly. “It comes as little surprise, given the information above, that the most popular answer by far was ‘a steady source of income,’ or simply, ‘a job’. These are people who want to improve things for their families and provide a better future for their children.”

“When you think about the amount of stress that many of these families are under, it’s amazing that they’re able to think about anything outside of basic survival,” says Mr Farrelly.

The final question on the Mission’s survey was whether there was a message the respondent would like to send out into the wider community. Brianna’s answer was repeated by many of the people in line with her.

“Merry Christmas,” she said.

Please donate to the Mission’s Christmas Appeal today at becomesomeonesangel.co.nz because 80 per cent of the Mission’s operating costs are funded by donations.

*Name has been changed to protect client privacy


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On War Crimes And The Afghan Insurgency

Truly, with friends like former defence Minster Wayne Mapp, the SAS does not need enemies. At the very least, the Hit and Run book has raised the possibility that the New Zealand SAS committed war crimes in the attack they led in Afghnistan upon the villages of Naik and Khak Khuday Dad...

Mapp’s attempted defence of the SAS on RNZ this morning unintentionally indicated that collective punishment was baked into the planning exercise for the raid, and also into how the raid proceeded on the ground. More>>

 

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Kim Workman: Reality Check Needed For Public Service Reoffending Target

Reducing the prison population results in a reduction in re-offending. Shortening sentences reduces reoffending... More>>

ALSO:

PSA: Minister Should Stop Dodging On Salisbury School

"The decision around the future of Salisbury School has been overdue for months, and the ambiguity is leaving parents, staff and students in limbo. It’s time the Minister stopped hiding, muddying the waters and being dishonest about her Ministry’s intentions," says Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news