The Salvation Army faces losing a third of its budget
advisers, despite growing national demand for its social
services, including an ''alarming'' 31% rise in food parcel
demand in Dunedin.
The Salvation Army said it was beginning its annual Red
Shield Appeal today facing an historically high demand for
its social services and a significant cut in resources where
they were most needed.
Salvation Army Dunedin community ministries director
Lieutenant Andrew Moffatt said many Dunedin people who were
unemployed or on low incomes continued to be badly affected
by the economic recession.
About 70% of the Army's Dunedin clients were single men, some
of them living in boarding houses, and some with little money
and ''nothing to fall back on''.
Officials said demand for Salvation Army food parcels in
Dunedin had risen 31.5%, from 488 in the first three months
of last year to 642 in the comparable period this year.
The Government's temporary community response fund (CRF),
aimed at helping social service NGOs cope with the demand
bought on by the recession, ends in July.
This money helped provide an extra 20.5 budget advisers at
Salvation Army centres.
It had allowed the Army to increase its provision of
budgeting services by 230% from the start of the recession in
2008 to the first quarter of this year. Salvation Army social
services secretary Major Pam Waugh, of Wellington, said the
reduction in staff inevitably meant a cut in services, but
the Army's budget advice service in Dunedin would not be
Major Campbell Roberts, the Wellington-based director of the
Salvation Army's social policy and parliamentary unit, was
yesterday visiting Dunedin, where he previously lived and
He hoped the decision to end the CRF support would be
reconsidered, given the continuing demand for social
services, and it was ''most probably not a sensible
strategy'' to end the funding.
Dunedin Anglican Family Care Centre director Nicola Taylor
said there was a continuing high demand for food parcels, and
many more people with jobs were now seeking that help.
Dunedin faced a big problem with high youth unemployment,
some children were affected by poverty and some Dunedin
clients could no longer see their GP ''because they had not
paid their bill''.
The centre had been fortunate to receive three successive
grants of $50,000 per year from the CRF.
Its work would be adversely affected by the loss of that
income, she said.