THE federal government will provide $100 million in support for charities and community organisations, including more than $390,000 for groups in Geelong.
Victorian Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson said the funding, announced last week, will help charities support people in their area struggling from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.
“There are many people in our community doing it tough right now which is why I am pleased the Morrison Government could deliver this much-needed funding to support emergency cash payments, food, everyday bills, and transport and school supplies.”
The additional funds will be distributed across both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
Geelong-based charity Bethany Community Support Incorporated will receive more than $150,000 extra support from the federal government during this time.
Bethany provides a wide range of services, including financial support, emergency services, family violence services and disability support.
Bethany executive manager south west for disability and therapeutic services Sharlene Gillick said the additional funds would enable the support service to help those the pandemic had affected the most.
“The injection of funding from government will enable Bethany to support many people in the local community who may be experiencing financial stress in the wake of the coronavirus economic downturn.
“Bethany understands that there are many people in our community who are financially impacted by the coronavirus – this funding will be used to support emergency payments and assistance with utility bills, transport costs, healthcare assistance, purchase of school supplies and food.”
Ms Gillick said Bethany was also looking to adapt how they provide aid to fit the current situation.
“The additional funding will also increase Bethany’s workforce capacity and ability to provide local support via alternative ways such as digital platforms.”
Senator Henderson and Ms Gillick both noted many of the people presently seeking help from services like Bethany may have not had to do so before.
In addition to Bethany, Geelong branches of CatholicCare Victoria Tasmania, Loddon Mallee Housing Services Limited and The Salvation Army (Victoria) Property Trust will share in the $391,757 funds dedicated to the region.
The Department of Social Services has a directory for service providers online at serviceproviders.dss.gov.au/.
People requiring support can contact Bethany by phoning 5278 8122 or emailing [email protected].