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Putting up guard rails

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A few weeks back, a Government MP accused The Salvation Army of having been behind a media campaign around homelessness, implying this was not a good thing.

He also suggested tension between The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit and our churches because of the unit’s political engagement. The MP was taken to task by his Party and apologised for his ‘naïve’ remarks.

Let’s be clear, the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit is doing what the rest of us Sallies would hopefully call ‘God’s work’. When the unit was created in 2004, its founder, Major Campbell Roberts, told War Cry, ‘The unit represents an additional weapon in our armoury. It is an attempt to minimise the pain and suffering of individuals by addressing larger social issues. By helping individuals in need as well as attacking the reasons behind their problems, we can help more people in total.’

We have been raising serious concerns about New Zealand’s inability to meet its housing needs—and the links between housing deprivation and poverty—for at least 10 years. Political parties acknowledge the worth of our influence, and we are ready to sit down with anyone to discuss our views and listen to theirs.

When Prime Minister Bill English was asked if The Salvation Army ‘had manufactured the homelessness crisis’, he replied, ‘No, but they certainly drew attention to homelessness.’ Surely that’s something to celebrate!

The Salvation Army is not content to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff —we want to help erect guard rails at the top.

Christina Tyson
Editor

Bible Verse

John 3:6 Contemporary English Version
Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God.
Hoani 3:6
Ko tā te kikokiko e whānau ai he kikokiko; ko tā te Wairua e whānau ai he wairua.

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