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Salvation Army welcomes new COVID funding for homeless

Salvation Army welcomes new COVID funding for homeless

Salvation Army welcomes new COVID funding for homeless

31 July 2020

The Salvation Army in Melbourne has been providing care and assistance for people in need during the COVID-19 lockdown.

By Scott Simpson and Holly Reed

The Victorian Government’s decision to extend its COVID-19 response for people experiencing homelessness will help The Salvation Army to continue to put “a roof over the heads” of vulnerable people in the state.

The government announced a new $150 million From Homelessness to a Home package earlier this week. The funding includes an extension of hotel crisis accommodation until at least April next year and provides much-needed investment to help The Salvation Army and other organisations break the cycle of homelessness for thousands of Victorians.

“The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a unique situation for all Victorians, including the homeless, and it will continue to be an issue for many months to come,” said The Salvation Army Head of Social Mission, Major Jenny Begent.

“The ability to extend the current hotel response will enable The Salvation Army to ensure homeless people have a roof over their heads and receive the support they need during this crisis.

“Ongoing support, at all levels, is essential to ensure that these Victorians don’t return to homelessness.”

Since March, The Salvation Army has helped more than 3700 people across Victoria with housing establishment funding, including emergency accommodation, and more than 600 people with private rental support.

The outbreak of a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus cases has hit hard in Victoria. While Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, about 100km north of the capital, are now in Stage 3 lockdown, it was residents in the north-west of Melbourne who were among the first to see tough restrictions reimposed.

Moonee Valley reaching out

Lieutenant Erin Mains, Corps Officer at Mooney Valley Salvos, said the second lockdown has been a “fairly emotional” time, with members of the community left upset and confused.

“Ensuring the health and safety of the community [at this time] has been challenging,” said Erin.

“Here at Moonee Valley, we have a Recovery Church community that has been in place for five years. This community has been hit hard by the restrictions. The loss of their community has meant for many the loss of their only support and contact.”

Moonee Valley Salvos are now helping people who have never previously had to rely on support, with some simply unable to pay their weekly bills. 

“We have had many food donations from the community, which have helped us to provide for those in need,” said Erin. “There has been strong support from those able to give even though they are themselves in difficult times.”

 

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