Salvation Army emergency welfare, addiction and housing support services are continuing to serve the vulnerable, albeit in a modified way, in line with lock-down protocols.
Those in need should ring WINZ in the first instance, and ask family and friends for help where possible.
“We are hopeful that most people have whānau, friends or work colleagues who can help them at this time, however, we know many people do not,” Assistant Territorial Secretary for Mission, Captain Gerry Walker says.
“We are expecting more and more families to be under financial strain in the coming weeks,” he says.
The Salvation Army is concerned about the growing demand for food from people who are finding themselves struggling to buy groceries due to the Covid-19 lock down.
“Our individual and corporate partners are being very generous in helping us help those who are struggling. We are calling on those New Zealanders who are in a position to help, to keep our food banks stocked by donating to The Foodbank Project, our online foodbank, at www.foodbank.org.nz.
They can also place non-perishable items in our purple bins at Countdown Supermarkets.”
Foodbank demand has risen by a third this week, with particular spikes in Auckland and Northland, and increased demand in Christchurch.
A list of Salvation Army services still operating is included on our website www.salvationarmy.org.nz, under the ‘Get Help’ page. The site also contains phone numbers for Salvation Army centres throughout New Zealand.
The Salvation Army National Director Addictions, Supportive Accommodation and Reintegration Services (ASARS) Lt-Colonel Lynette Hutson says that as families come under increasing financial strain, issues such as drug and alcohol addiction and problem gambling can come to the fore.
“This a difficult time for all New Zealanders, and we will do our best to provide support to those in need,” she says.
“We are doing things a bit differently during the lock down, but we are still there to help people.”
The Salvation Army Bridge continues to operate both residential and community-based alcohol and other drug treatment services, across New Zealand.
With the threat of the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with the directive of the NZ Government, all Bridge services have now moved to Alert Level 4 of the New Zealand alert system as follows:
Bridge Residential services continue to deliver safe, integrated and evidence-based engagement with tangata whaiora and can be contacted by phone or email for referrals. There is a suspension on all visitors to our facilities until further notice.
Bridge Community services are providing and will continue to provide 1:1 and group support and contact through phone and social media platforms, with office locations closed and face to face contact suspended, until further notice. Please visit www.salvationarmy.org.nz/Bridge for more information, or phone 0800 53 00 00.
Supportive Accommodation/Transitional Housing services continue to operate across the country for those already in residence. Limited referrals may be considered, depending on availability of services. Visit https://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/housing for more information.
Oasis service continues during the lockdown. Support and information for those impacted by gambling harm, including family and whānau, is now provided online (via email and/or streaming live video) and over the phone during the lock-down. Visit www.salvationarmy.org.nz/Oasis and check the locations link for direct access to Oasis services, or call 0800 53 00 00 for more information.
The Salvation Army Community Finance team can speak to people experiencing financial hardship via a phone call or Skype session. We are acutely aware that people in debt may be extremely concerned about repaying loans at this time. For more information, call 0800 854 009.
“The key message is that New Zealanders need to help each other as much as they are able, at this time,” Captain Walker says.
“The Salvation Army is there for those who have no one to turn to. These people are our whānau and it is our responsibility to express our manaakitanga in the community.”