“For many, Alert Level 2 has brought some normality,” says EOC Controller Chris Dyhrberg. “However, we’re aware there's a segment in our community who are still vulnerable and require assistance and support. We’ve worked with local social service agencies to ensure they have the ability and capacity to manage the demands for welfare assistance in the city after we've transitioned out of managing the city's welfare response.
“Welfare remains a priority. We want to ensure all welfare needs are met as our community adjusts to the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
To date, the Palmerston North welfare team has managed 5,441 requests for assistance with food, accommodation, transport and household essentials.
The EOC is still active and operational to assist with remaining welfare matters and complex cases, however, the number of daily requests now matches pre-Covid numbers.
Callers to the local welfare freephone that operates from 9am to 5pm daily will be directed to a local social service agency for assistance from Friday 29 May.
Council’s website hosts an extensive list of local social service support agencies, and an interactive map to assist people with connecting to the appropriate agency. Access them at pncc.govt.nz/welfare.
“Our Council community development team will continue to support the city’s social service agencies after the transition period has ended, as part of the City Recovery Plan.”