Appeal to aid Salvos’ emergency relief

June 20, 2023 BY

Iconic: The Red Shield Appeal is a 58-year-old Australian institution. Photo: SUPPLIED

RESEARCH from the Salvation Army within the last year found that eighty-four per cent of people they surveyed were struggling to cover the costs of living and health care.

As the organisation continues to run their annual Red Shield Appeal until the end of this financial year, the Salvos are urging the community to donate to the cause and support the individuals and families receiving emergency relief from the agency.

Victorian public relations secretary Major Warren Elliott said the organisation’s aim is to raise $50,000 in central and western Victoria.

“It’s so important for people to support the appeal because the numbers of people coming to us are up across the board, particularly for emergency relief, with homelessness issues, increases to the cost of living and rent,” he said.

“All of our local services are seeing more people come to them for help to keep them afloat. Some are up by as much as 25 per cent on the same period last year.”

Major Elliott said almost half of the people the Salvos surveyed have gone without meals due to limited cash, many can’t afford their prescribed medicines, and 32 per cent struggle to cover their rent or mortgage payments on time.

He said the economic stresses and uncertainty of the pandemic, inflation, and natural disasters have put pressure on the already vulnerable.

“Both housing stress and the risk of homelessness is high amongst those who participated in our research, with 78 per cent in housing stress, paying 30 per cent or more of their household income on housing, and 48 per cent in extreme housing stress, paying 50 per cent or more of their household income on housing,” Major Elliott said.

“The situation is particularly dire for those who are living on government support payments. These people are struggling to afford their basic needs, with 88 per cent finding it difficult to meet their necessary living expenses and 97 per cent living below the poverty line.”

Visit salvationarmy.org.au and follow the Red Shield Appeal prompts to donate to the city’s sub appeal, to ensure money stays local.