Friday December 20 2013 12:51 a.m.
This year we paid bills or purchased hundreds of items on people’s behalf - we never give out cash. As well as the totals in the table (left) we’ve paid for shoes, clothing, glasses, prams, beds and bedding, second hand furniture, GP bills, and much more.
In 2013 we received an average of 35 applications each month. The total requested each month averaged a daunting $27,650.
As we can spend about $9,000 per month we try to prioritise carefully. Many people receive only a portion of their request, and some are regretfully declined.
We’ve noticed an increase in requests for rent or bond, power bills and dentalwork, as well as applications where one or two working parents are struggling on very low wages. The growing number of people in high personal debt is also a concern.
The latest census data show that Nelson’s annual median income is $27,200 and Tasman’s is $25,700. This is reflected in our applications, with many people going without basic necessities.