Push for poverty help


Poverty. This is the ‘‘P’’ word with the most im­me­di­ate res­o­nance for strug­gling fam­i­lies.

Shanyn Cal­lan­der knows all too well the dif­fi­cul­ties try­ing to sur­vive with chil­dren on a fixed in­come, while deal­ing with her own on­go­ing health is­sues, as well as the health needs of her chil­dren.

Cal­lan­der suf­fers from post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) and epilepsy, while el­dest child Cas­tro Stra­chan, 10, has ADHD, and youngest, 5-month-old Chance, needs treat­ment for club feet.

Her daugh­ter Tay­lor is un­der­go­ing surgery on her teeth, which were com­ing through with­out enough enamel.

The fam­ily doesn’t have a car, and bus fares to and from the hospi­tal, and for gro­cery shop­ping, eat into the pro­vi­sions bud­get.

‘‘We strug­gle with ne­ces­si­ties, of­ten not hav­ing enough. No mat­ter how well I bud­get, I al­ways run out of some­thing.’’

A year ago, part­ner Karl Stra­chan had to give up his job to look af­ter Cal­lan­der and the chil­dren. For­tu­nately they now have a Hous­ing New Zealand home.

Be­fore that, the fam­ily was liv­ing in a con­verted garage fit­ted with a toi­let, but only equipped with a toaster and a ket­tle.

Cal­lan­der slept on a mat­tress on the floor. ‘‘We couldn’t af­ford a bond,’’ she said.

‘‘You want to be able to do things for your kids.

‘‘Their friends have things and go places, and I’d like to to take them to Flip City or McDon­alds, but I can’t.’’

With­out as­sis­tance and sup- port from the Sal­va­tion army, Cal­lan­der said she wouldn’t be able to hold things to­gether.

Sal­va­tion Army so­cial worker Debs Radley said the fam­ily was one of a grow­ing num­ber in the city find­ing it hard to cope.

She now has a case-load of 70 fam­i­lies – five of them liv­ing in mo­tel rooms.

‘‘When I started here five years ago, is­sues were eas­ier to solve for peo­ple, but with the changes to the So­cial Se­cu­rity Act and ris­ing costs of rent, power and food, they in­crease in com­plex­ity year on year,’’ Radley said.

‘‘Shanyn is flour­ish­ing since she came here. She is able to see there is hope.’’

In re­sponse to the grow­ing need, the Sal­va­tion Army is launch­ing its first-ever na­tional win­ter ap­peal. Do­na­tions can be made to sal­va­tion­army.org.nz/ Win­terAp­peal or phone 0800 53 00 00


The Sal­va­tion Army has launched a win­ter ap­peal to help strug­gling fam­i­lies – lo­cal Corps Cap­tains Stew­art Lee (left) and Michelle Lee (right) with a city fam­ily that the Sal­va­tion Army has taken un­der its wing, mum Shanyn Cal­lan­der, Lorenzo Stra­chan, 8, Cas­tro Stra­chan, 10, and Chance Stra­chan, 5 months, in the arms of Sal­va­tion Army so­cial worker Debs Radley.

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