Salvation Army puts it all together

Salvation Army national commander Garth McKenzie, of Wellington, accompanied by Dunedin deputy...
Salvation Army national commander Garth McKenzie, of Wellington, accompanied by Dunedin deputy mayor Syd Brown, opens the organisation's new "one-stop shop" social services centre in the city. Photo by Craig Baxter
The Salvation Army opened its new integrated social services centre in Dunedin yesterday after a $2.9 million redevelopment.

The centre was intended to provide a "one-stop shop'', making it easier for people to get all the help they needed at once, by bringing together many Salvation Army services at single venue.

Consolidated there are community ministries, including a foodbank, budgeting advice, and counselling.  As well there are alcohol and drug addiction services, problem gambling services, employment training, a family store and worship services.

Forty staff are based at the centre, which has main entrances at 575 Princes St and in Crawford St.

Four adjacent buildings, in Princes St, Jervois St and Crawford St, have been joined internally to create an integrated complex.

Dunedin deputy mayor Syd Brown praised the Salvation Army's commitment to the city and its success in transforming the lives of some of the city's disadvantaged citizens.

"You do a marvellous job,'' Cr Brown said.  About 180 people attended the opening ceremony.

The redevelopment work was initially budgeted at $3.2 million, but was completed for $2.9 million, organisers said.

The redevelopment effectively increased the space in the overall complex more than six-fold, adding about 1600sq m of floor area to the initial 250sq m devoted to the organisation's worship centre, social hall and family store.

The organisation's national commander, Commissioner Garth McKenzie, of Wellington, said the centre reflected a holistic approach to meeting individual needs.

"People often come to us when they are experiencing a crisis and looking for urgent help such as a food parcel, counselling, or advocacy support.

"There are usually other problems in the background, so by having multiple services in one location, it is easier for our clients to access the services they need,'' he said.

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