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Mission imperative transforming lives

The Salvation Army operates on the front line and extends care more than one million times each year to people in need. Wherever possible The Salvation Army seeks to support positive life transformation.

Our work in the community is provided through Doorways, a philosophical model that encompasses an integrated, holistic and capacity-building approach that is closely aligned to current government policy trends promoting a ‘hand up, not a hand out’. This philosophy addresses the underlying factors that lead to poverty, addiction and disengagement. The Salvation Army believes that every person deserves the opportunity to live life to its fullest. In a typical week, The Salvation Army assists 500 people facing addiction, helps to provide 1,000 people with suitable job opportunities, and provides emergency relief at 237 sites nationally.

Employment Plus

Employment plus assists clientLast year The Salvation Army Employment Plus saw more than 19,000 people matched to work and over 49,000 others assisted into employment. The Salvation Army Employment Plus is managed nationally with offices all over Australia.

The impact of unemployment goes far beyond the financial. It can cause people to lose their self-confidence and sense of self-worth– with depression a common occurrence. Unemployment impacts both on the individual and entire families. It can cause lives to spiral out of control.

Employment Plus works with people from all walks of life: from the easily employable to highly disadvantaged individuals who face multiple hurdles such as homelessness, substance abuse, literacy, troubled backgrounds and language barriers.

Shayne's Story

Shayne grew up in Perth with her mother who was a drug user. By the time Shayne was 13 she was a regular user as well.

When she approached The Salvation Army Employment Plus looking for work, Shayne had given up drugs but needed a job to further distance herself from her old lifestyle.

Employment Plus found Shayne a position at The Apprentice and Traineeship Company where she has completed business administration training and is now thriving.

“I want to be the one person in my family to go somewhere in life and be proud of what I’ve done,” says Shayne.

No matter the person’s situation, Employment Plus is there to support and assist them on their journey to find employment. With 105 offices nationwide, in all states and territories apart from the Northern Territory, Employment Plus is there to help businesses find staff and match people to jobs – free of charge.

In 2012/13 The Salvation Army Employment Plus:

  • celebrated 15 years of assisting jobseekers
  • saw 19,000 people matched to work
  • assisted 49,000 into employment.

The Waterhole, Alice Springs

The Waterhole activities Since opening in late 2012, The Salvation Army’s The Waterhole community centre in Alice Springs has been working hard to ensure the centre lives up to its name: that it is a place of tranquillity, a place of meeting and a place of possibility.

The Waterhole is The Salvation Army’s open door to the community. Ninety per cent of members are Aboriginal – for most of whom the broader community is a hostile place where they are often perceived as ‘problems’. There are now 120 members – the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 71. Members come from all the main language groups of Central Australia. On any one day between 50 and 80 people come into the centre to use the facilities, to get out of the heat (in summer) or the cold (in winter), to have a shower or wash their clothes, to meet family members and friends, to have a cup of tea and something to eat, to paint, relax, watch a movie, play the guitar or catch up on sleep on the couch.

The Waterhole has enabled The Salvation Army to reach out to the vulnerable in society. Some of the members sleep rough, some have a drinking problem, none are employed. They are marginalised in the wider society but at The Waterhole they are valued and contributing members.

The Waterhole receives no government funding. Rather, money from the Red Shield Appeal and a local benefactor has allowed the space to be transformed and fund staff and activities. Three regular volunteers and three part-time employees keep The Waterhole running.

The Salvation Army is slowly creating a welcoming community. One member says, “It’s better than walking around the streets in the heat – we want to look after this community we started.” Another member said, “I like to come here, have a shower, have a feed and relax watching movies.” The Salvation Army is working to build relationships of trust and want members to feel they belong and believe the change they want is possible to achieve.

Community development facilitator for The Waterhole, Susan Dow, believes that The Waterhole community can have a transformative effect on the lives of its members, reach out to challenge and change the broader community and reac hinward to enrich the faith community of The Salvation Army in Alice Springs.

Karratha Youth Crisis Centre, Western Australia

The Salvation Army Crossroads West moved into its new Karratha Youth Crisis Centre in July of this year. At least two and a half years in the making, the new centre offers purpose built temporary accommodation for young people aged 15 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The centre is funded to support six young people, however eight single bedrooms with shared ensuites have been incorporated into the rebuild. The new facility will continue to help young people in crisis find permanent accommodation and be equipped to achieve life transformation.

During a three month stay at the centre, young people work with youth workers to find permanent accommodation, as well as education or employment, and develop independent living skills, such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting. Workers also assist young people in practical ways, such as assisting them to obtain a tax file number or complete Centrelink forms.

There is much need in the town of Karratha. The mining boom means that it is not uncommon for rental properties to be priced at $1,500 per week – putting properties well out of reach from those already facing hardship. The social impact of this phenomenon is devastating, with many young people left helpless and homeless. Crossroads West Karratha helps tofill that gap as well as provide services to equip young people with the skills necessary to make a positive life change.