Each year The Salvation Army assists more than one million Australians experiencing crisis. Working in the areas of greatest need like homelessness, family and domestic violence, financial stress and disaster relief, much of the work of the Salvos is made possible because of generous donations made to the Red Shield Appeal.
This year The Salvation Army is aiming to raise $74 million by 30 June to provide critically needed support and services to Australians struggling to get by.
“With the generous support of the community this target is in sight but with only a few weeks to go before the end of the financial year we are really urging Australians to dig deep. Reaching this target is more than a financial goal, it translates into lives changed,” said Major Paul Hateley, Territorial Public Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory.
“We would like to thank members of the community who have made a donation for their generosity and also encourage anyone considering making a donation to do so by 30 June as a shortfall of our target means we need to reassess how we can continue to deliver our services in the coming months,” he said.
Recent research from The Salvation Army indicates Australians are having an increasingly difficult time with many seeking support existing on less than $17 a day once accommodation costs are covered. Data showed that this financial stress means taking drastic steps such as going without meals, medical attention or heating a single room of a house during winter.
“In the last year we have provided more than 136,000 people with support with basic living essentials like food and support with utility costs. This means every day more than 1,330 people come to us experiencing dire financial stress and are in need of urgent assistance,” said Major Hateley.
In addition to emergency relief, this week the Salvos will also provide accommodation to more than 2,000 people experiencing homelessness, refuge to 500 people experiencing violence in the home and a wide variety of critical social services
“A donation made to the Red Shield Appeal has a life changing impact for people living on the absolute margins of our community. We would like to encourage anyone still considering making a tax time donation to consider making an investment with The Salvation Army,” said Major Hateley.
AT A GLANCE statistics from The Salvation Army Economic Social Impact Survey (ESIS):
- 68% of clients are now suffering extreme housing stress spending over 60% of income on housing.
- Family violence is the leading cause of housing transiency with children at significant risk of social exclusion due to housing instability. 64% of respondents who moved due to family violence say their children had to change schools as a result. 40% of people who were surveyed have moved house an average of three (2.7) times in just 12 months.
- 86% of clients (and 58% of households with children) report severe deprivation and now go without 5 or more basic items (such as food , heating, clothing, medical care and education costs including access to the internet)
- Numerous clients live off just $16.96 a day (to pay for everything after housing /accommodation is paid for.)
- Some clients on Newstart Allowance are having to survive off just $15.29 a day.
Impact on children:
- 20% (one in five) cannot afford medical treatment or medicines that are prescribed for their child and cannot afford basic dental care for their child.
- More than half of all parents surveyed (6 out of 10) cannot afford an internet connection for their child. This places children at significant risk of social exclusion and hinders their ability to fully participate in schooling.
The report also shows people from regional towns/rural areas are over-represented in the survey, as are Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander people.