The Loft Social Emergency Crisis Service Under Threat of Closure

The Loft Social Emergency Crisis Service Under Threat of Closure

We are saddened to share that the funding for our pioneering collaborative partnership and essential Social Emergency Crisis Service from the Ministry of Social Development will be discontinued from October 1st, 2023.

Our Community Connector funding contract has meant The Loft could be a lifeline for hundreds of individuals each year, offering much-needed assistance to those facing family violence, mental health struggles, housing insecurities, poverty, and various other challenges. Over the years, we have witnessed the transformative impact of our services on the lives of those residing in Eastern Christchurch community and the wider Christchurch region who are in desperate need of support and guidance, often unaware of where to turn to for help. For many, The Loft represents their last hope.

We are fearful our closure will have a devastating impact on the countless individuals and families who rely on our support. The consequences of such an action could be far-reaching, leaving a significant portion of our community without a lifeline during their most vulnerable moments.

In addition to our Community Connector service, The Loft acts as a vital linker, coordinator, and front door to sixteen social service agencies that operate within our premises. Discontinuing funding for The Loft would have significant consequences for these agencies and organisations, negatively impacting their ability to deliver essential services. The closure of our service would result in a fragmented social services network, leaving a significant gap in the provision of comprehensive support to those in need. However, the dedication and hard work of our team, along with the invaluable support of our collaborative model with our social service partners, have made a significant difference in the lives of many vulnerable individuals and whānau.

Recently, our Crisis Intervention Service underwent an independent evaluation, which unequivocally highlighted the positive and profound impact it has had on the individuals it serves. This review undertaken by the ImpactLab proved that for every dollar invested into our short-term intervention service, creates an estimated $3.80 in social value for New Zealand. For FY22 this means The Loft added a social value of $2,286,901 to Aotearoa. You can view the full report here.

The Loft's collaborative social services model has garnered widespread recognition for its effectiveness, innovation, and alignment with the government's wellbeing strategy. We have been commended for addressing social crisis needs that cannot be adequately met in any other way. Our importance and role in the community have been widely praised by key stakeholders, including the previous Prime Minister, Ministers, politicians from all major parties, the mayor and councillors, community organisations, the District Health Board, the Police, and social service professionals. However, the success of this collaborative model relies heavily on the financial support from government to operate and remain viable. The impact of the discontinuation of funding will result in a financial shortfall of $360,000 per annum which is required to sustain operations and continue providing critical aid to those in need.

We are willing to consider any options that can help maintain the lifeline of hope provided by the Loft for all the individuals and whānau in need in our Christchurch community.

We want to express our profound gratitude to all the stakeholders, partners, and community members who have supported us throughout our seven-year journey. This support has been instrumental in making The Loft everything it is today.

For further inquiries or to explore potential partnership opportunities, please contact: Kate O’Grady - / 027 559 1441

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