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Funding Provides Critical Support For Hamiltonians

Twenty-two community organisations can continue to support Hamiltonians most in need, thanks to support from Hamilton City Council’s social services fund.

A total of $275,000 of the $1 million fund has been allocated since it was announced last month as part of a 12-point recovery plan to help the city withstand the effects of COVID-19. The support is targeted to direct action, non-profit organisations that supply essential food and other goods, accommodation, support for those in unsafe situations and services to people with disabilities.

The most recent groups to receive funding include YWCA, Te Whaanau Puutahi, Community Link Trust, Go Eco, K’aute Pasifika, Wise Trust, Te Kohao Health, Centre 401 Trust, House of Grace, SHAMA Ethnic Women’s Centre, Waikato Muslim Association, Kia Puaawai and Refugee Orientation Centre.

Male Support Services were one of the first organisations to receive support from the fund, receiving $15,000 to help the organisation provide free phone counselling for men, women and children throughout the lockdown.

Chief Executive Mike Holloway said the organisation’s services were already in high-demand, but the added stress of COVID-19 had more people seeking help. The charitable trust was formed to support males with physical, mental, emotional, domestic or sexual abuse experiences.

“Council’s funding has allowed us to support additional clients at a time when many community services are unable to meet the demands. Most of our work is usually done face-to-face but this funding has allowed us to adapt and set up a phone-based system that is safe for our staff and clients and allows us to continue to provide critical counselling support at a difficult time.”

Male Support Services also provide phone top-ups to enable counselling sessions to go ahead, as well as providing food vouchers and other essentials to support their clients.

“The generosity shown to us by Council and other donors is a testament to the community spirit we are known for in the Waikato, and I couldn’t be more grateful,” Mr Holloway said.

Community Committee Chair Mark Bunting said Council’s contribution is part of a larger fund which has seen multiple organisations come together to support critical welfare services in the city.

“It’s inspiring to see the strength of our community organisations working so well together under such pressure.

“We realise that every dollar we allocate through this fund is from the ratepayer so we’re being both responsible and responsive with each application. Applicants such as Male Support Services have demonstrated they have an extraordinary need in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Business as usual claims get turned away.”

The below organisations are the latest to receive funding:

  • YWCA Hamilton: $3,000 - Emergency food
  • Te Whaanau Puutahi: $1,500 - Emergency food
  • Community Link Trust: $2,500 - Emergency food
  • Go Eco: $4,000 - Emergency food
  • K’aute Pasifika: $20,000 - Emergency food
  • Wise Trust: $10,000 - Emergency food
  • Te Kohao Health: $10,000 - Emergency non-food care packages
  • Centre 401 Trust: $4,000 - Support of disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing
  • House of Grace: $6,000 - Accommodation
  • SHAMA Ethnic Women’s Centre: $10,000 - Crisis support for people who are unsafe
  • Waikato Muslim Association: $15,000 - Crisis support for people to maintain critical mental wellbeing
  • Kia Puaawai: $2,000 - Crisis support for people to maintain critical mental wellbeing
  • Refugee Orientation Centre: $3,000 - Crisis support for people to maintain critical mental wellbeing

For a full list of funding recipients, visit Hamilton.govt.nz/recovery1

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