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.