One of The Salvation Army’s founders’ William Booth would carry out community surveys to identify the needs of the community and this is how some of the services the Army offered were identified and created. The ‘State of our Communities’ (SOOC) was initiated with the same principle, to ensure that our communities were given an opportunity to share their thoughts and insights about their communities.
The SOOC 2020 is the third SOOC report to be released by the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit (SPPU). Previous SOOC reports have been a comparison between communities, however, given the vast differences between these three communities— Rotorua, Johnsonville and Queenstown—SOOC 2020 is an individual analysis of each community. Rotorua has a significant Māori population; Johnsonville is a small and diverse community; Queenstown is a tourism mecca with a large migrant worker population. The Salvation Army is active and integrated in all these communities, especially during the original lockdowns. SOOC 2020 places particular focus in light of the current pandemic on the impacts of Covid-19 on the local communities and the social issues communities are prioritising with Election 2020 around the corner.
On a national scale the impacts of Covid-19 have been well documented; government ministries have been releasing updates on the economic impacts and amount of financial hardship grants accessed. The Salvation Army has released a series of Covid-19 Social Impact Dashboards, which started on the 6 April 2020. These dashboards monitored five key social progress areas throughout the country: food security, financial hardship, addictions, housing, and income support and unemployment. Despite the pursuit of government and non-governmental agencies to document the impacts of Covid-19, nationally there has been minimal reporting on the impacts on our communities. SOOC 2020 hopes to capture the faces and stories of communities in the current Covid-19 world.
Download the report and resources using the links below.