Salvos response long-term
16 December 2013
“Long after the fires are gone and the smoke has cleared, The Salvation Army will still be in these communities, standing side-by-side with those affected, to help them pick up the pieces and begin the long process of healing and rebuilding,” says Salvation Army spokesperson Major Jeff Winterburn.
Less than a week after bushfires destroyed nearly 200 homes in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, The Salvation Army had begun recovery operations.
A Relief Support Centre has been established in the lower Blue Mountains where volunteers and personnel are working with individuals and families to assess both short and long-term needs and provide immediate assistance.
“Financial assistance is being provided immediately for people who have been impacted by the fires so that they can buy essential items,” says Major Winterburn. “We have also been able to provide counselling to people and have referred people in financial stress to our specialised financial counsellors.”
The Salvation Army is urging people who have been affected by the bushfire disaster to make contact and find out what assistance is available.
“We know that many, many more people are hurting,” says Major Winterburn. “Businesses have lost money, many homes have gone without power and water; the effect of these fires has been quite far-reaching.
“We’re committed to walking alongside these hurting communities for as long as it takes.”