Unprecedented demand for Sallies Xmas emergency aid

By Mānia Clarke

Te Puea marae chair Hurimoana Dennis is not surprised at the unprecedented demand for Salvation Army emergency aid this Christmas.

Sallies have helped a nearly 16,000 children with parcels during the festive season, and Dennis says it’s the result of multiple issues.

Dennis says the poverty facing hundreds of families is dire.

“Those have been the same issues since we began Manaaki Tangata, most of our families are living in poverty,” he says.

Latest Sally figures released show 15,795 kids were supported through emergency Xmas parcels.

Dennis says needy families they help face multiple problems.

“The issues are is that we deal with housing problems, family violence, drug abuse and alcohol abuse etc.”

“Those things are affecting the majority of Māori families, the pressures within the whānau.”

Since Te Puea marae opened doors to help the homeless in 2016, they've supported 345 whānau into homes.

“(This year) we've helped nearly 125 whānau families into new permanent homes. However, we are dealing with other issues other than housing.”

The Salvation Army is seeking support from the public to continue helping vulnerable families through its Christmas Appeal that runs until 15th January.