Boost for charities

Manukau charities reaching crisis point have received nearly half a million dollars in emergency government funding.

The first round of the community response fund has been distributed with south Auckland organisations receiving $409,110.

The fund was established by the government to meet the pressures placed on critical community services by the recession, with up to $104 million available over two years.

The Monte Cecilia Housing Trust in Mangere received $45,000 to help continue its work housing homeless families and helping them rebuild their lives.

Trust executive David Zussman says the community response fund was insurance for the noticeable drop in funding at the start of this year.

"We spent six months using our reserves and were getting slightly concerned about keeping going," he says.

"The funding will cover our essential costs and it’s made a huge difference to this year."

And he’s no longer holding his breath about the future.

Age Concern Counties Manukau received $50,000 from the fund and is delighted, says executive officer Wendy Bremner.

"Organisations had to prove they were in crisis and had increased demand. Because of the recession, access to philanthropic trusts grants had reduced – the ASB Trust stopped a whole round.

"Other trusts had less to give out and more need."

Ms Bremner says the money will go towards elder abuse prevention, accredited visiting, health promotion and community development services.

"A lot of people think we’re a government organisation but we’re not. It’s a continual juggling act. The funds help us meet a large shortfall."

The second round of funding closed last month and will be announced in December. The next round will close in late January next year.

For information call Family and Community Services on 0800-777-100.

Manukau Courier