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Get in Control of Your Finances Before Covid Payments End

Christians Against Poverty: Get in Control of Your Finances Before Covid-19-Related Payments End

Christians Against Poverty is encouraging people struggling with debt and finances to get in control before COVID-19-related payments change or come to an end.

“We know the coming months will be difficult for many New Zealanders,” says Christians Against Poverty CEO Aimee Mai.

“Wage subsidies, running since March, are progressively expiring and recipients who are unable to return back to work or find another job will be transitioning onto social welfare.

“We will also from this month start seeing people who have been receiving Covid Income Relief Payments—which last twelve weeks and have been running since June—transitioned to other benefits, if they are eligible, which could likely pay a lower rate.

“This will be difficult for many of those affected. As a recent survey from the University of Auckland shows, people can feel stigma and/or shame when receiving social welfare—and this is often on top of worry and stress about their financial situation. But our message is: there is hope.

“While many of our clients say they feel a level of shame when they first call for help, this quickly disappears after calling us. Christians Against Poverty’s service is not only confidential but empowers people to take control of their finances—99% of people report our service asfriendly, professional and non-judgemental.

“We are here for you and our help is confidential and free. We visit you in the privacy of your home to provide free, confidential support. We can set you up with budget to meet life’s needs, ensuring all essential costs such as healthy food, rent and bills are covered. We negotiate affordable payments with each money lender and do our best to stop unfair interest, charges and fees.”

Christians Against Poverty is a not-for-profit organisation which operates a free debt help service as well as money management courses in partnership with around 150 churches across Aotearoa. The organisation has helped around 1,750 New Zealanders to go completely debt-free since it began in 2008 and clients have on average $69 more per week for food once set up with a budget.
Timaru residents Mark and Carol Diehl experienced hardship first-hand as former Clients of Christians Against Poverty. Mark recalls their financial situation “snowballing,” which almost forced the breakup of their marriage.

He was made redundant from the retail-construction sector shortly after the first lockdown in March, but says he was better prepared for a change of circumstances after going debt-free and learning money management skills at Christians Against Poverty. Since then, he has started-up his own water blasting and heat-pump-servicing business, ‘Domestiblast’.

"I felt like I was in this massive hole …by calling ChristiansAgainstPovertythere's this ladder coming down to meet me. It was relieving; somebody was on our side, somebody had our backs.

“Our marriage has gone from strength to-strength…there’s no greater feeling on earth than saying yes to your kids.”

For free help or to support the work of Christians Against Poverty call 0508 227 111 or visit capnz.org

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