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Queenstown Salvation Army says a three-year funding grant will allow it to meet the changing needs of the resort’s Covid-19 casualties.
It is receiving $390,000 over three years from Central Lakes Trust, starting with $120,000 this year.
Director of community ministries lieutenant Andrew Wilson said the money meant it could focus on core work rather than worrying about funding year-to-year.
Those services had increased six-fold post-Covid-19, and although demand was expected to fall over the coming months, the complexity of need was expected to increase.
The district’s sudden economic crisis was causing "profound social pain", particularly among young and single foreign nationals who had "struck out" by being in Queenstown when the pandemic arrived.
"Because they’re so young, they don’t typically have deep savings to fall back on."
Symptoms of the stress they were feeling were reflected in much higher levels of anxiety, depression and substance abuse than usual, Mr Wilson said.
"Unfortunately, those negative social impacts are starting to rear their head."
The trust’s grant would be directly applied to maintaining higher staffing levels; it had extended the hours of its three existing part-time workers and employed an additional full-time worker.
After three months of providing stopgap assistance such as food parcels and bedding, demand had eased slightly, partly because it was no longer getting referrals from the now-disbanded Queenstown Lakes District Council emergency operations centre.
Responsibility for supporting foreign nationals affected by Covid-19 had now passed to the Department of Internal Affairs, through New Zealand Red Cross.
Meanwhile, the largest grant approved by the trust in its June funding round was $750,000 towards the new Luggate Hall.
The former mud-brick Luggate Hall, built in 1954, was decommissioned in 2017 when it was assessed as potentially earthquake-prone.
Luggate Community Board chairman Graeme Perkins said the grant was very welcome, and "ensured our new hall will become a reality".
When finished, the new Luggate Memorial Centre will be the first Passive House-certified community centre in New Zealand. — Additional reporting by Kerrie Waterworth.
Central Lakes Trust grants ($40,000-plus)
- Alexandra Community Hub Covid-19 emergency grant $59,500
- Arrowtown Bowling Club clubhouse renovation $56,471
- Cromwell Primary School double-mast space net climbing rig $43,837
- Age Concern Southland operational grant 2020-21 $50,000
- Citizens Advice Bureau Queenstown operational grant 2020-21 $45,500
- Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust programme grant 2020-22 $42,500
- Sport Otago operational grant 2020-21 $52,500
- Upper Clutha Lakes Trust operational grant 2020-21 $55,000