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Disaster doesn't discriminate, and neither does debt

14 October 2020

Disaster doesn't discriminate, and neither does debt

With 3.24 million Australians, including more than three-quarters of a million children, living below the poverty line, The Salvation Army’s Moneycare service is encouraging people to reach out early for help.

Although Australia is experiencing one of the most severe financial disasters in our country’s history, there is hope for those who reach out, with over three-quarters (79%) of those who came to Moneycare reporting positive mental health after receiving assistance.

Further, an enormous 68% of those who came to Moneycare reported positive progress in personal wellbeing, while 67% said they no longer had ‘problem debt’.

Moneycare, The Salvation Army’s free financial counselling service, offers face-to-face, phone or video appointments to anyone in Australia, and helps thousands of people get out of financial difficulty and build resilience every year.

As part of the annual Anti-Poverty Week (October 11-17), Wednesday October 14 is The Salvos National ‘Moneycare Day’.

Since April this year, almost a third of all people who received assistance from The Salvation Army’s Moneycare Service have been impacted by the disasters of COVID-19 and bushfires, and therefore have reached out to Moneycare for the first time.

“Nobody knew we were about to suffer the double blow of bushfires then the coronavirus. But just as we’ve done in the past and we’ll do again in the future, the Salvos will be there to lend a hand where it is needed most,” said Kristen Hartnett, Salvation Army Moneycare Financial Counsellor.

Last summer’s bushfire disaster followed by the COVID-19 crisis caused financial hardship for many Australians, including those who have endured years of severe drought.

It was also found that COVD-19 related recipients were much younger than the regular demographic of those presenting to Moneycare, while bushfire recipients were older, highlighting how disasters truly do not discriminate.

Moneycare is a fierce advocate against irresponsible lending and the use of payday lenders, with over $1.75 million of debt being attributed to these high-interest loans for people Moneycare have helped in 2019/20.

Scott, who fell victim to payday lenders and was helped by Moneycare earlier this year, said, “The Salvos Moneycare financial counsellors not only helped me get my finances back on track, but also my life and my mental health. I am so grateful to the team at Moneycare.”

Kristen Hartnett added, “Because of this year’s disasters, we have found that anyone can find themselves without work, on JobSeeker or in financial stress, just like Scott. I’d encourage anyone who’s worried about their financial situation to reach out. You have more options than you think.”

“Not only is Moneycare free, it is also completely safe and confidential. Please get help early, because there is hope.”

For more about The Salvation Army’s Moneycare including how to get help, the free events/webinars or to hear an exclusive interview with The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape, visit our Anti-Poverty Week page or call 1800 722 363.

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia. We pay our respect to Elders and acknowledge their continuing relationship to this land and the ongoing living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

The Salvation Army is a child safe organisation that is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people, and protecting them from harm.

13 SALVOS (13 72 58)

Gifts of $2 or more to the social work of The Salvation Army in Australia are tax deductible.Details and ABNs

Hope where it's needed most