What is Emergency Relief? - Homelessness Week 2019

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7 August, 2019


Many individuals and families are living just one step away from financial hardship and without a little help could find themselves easily slipping into homelessness.

Charity groups and welfare organisations often provide what is called Emergency Relief. It is the means to provide for people in need, the assistance of most benefit to them. This could be food, food vouchers, blankets, clothes, assistance with bills and furniture as well as other vouchers to stores such as K-Mart to purchase much needed goods.

Help may also include medications, access to free glasses, and referrals to free dental care. Many centres provide budget counselling, financial counselling, personal counselling and links to other community programs located across the state.

These welfare agencies are recognised as providing a state wide standard and purchase vouchers from supermarkets and large chains department stores that can be redeemed by those people in need.

A lot of people find it hard to reach out for help and are quite often at desperation point before finally seeking assistance. The providers of Emergency Relief are there to help and to do so with dignity and understanding. They can also refer people to other agencies that may be of further assistance.

See the Affordable App, website or ring the Helpline1800 025 539 for more details.

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Three simple questions to ask yourself before you buy

We've all done it. Bought something we later regretted because we didn't really need it.

The AfterPay logo seems to be everywhere, along with other so-called 'buy now pay later' products. You've heard it from sales assistants offering alternate ways too pay. Before you do, there are a few simple few questions to ask yourself about what you're about to buy?

1. How much do I really like it? Is this a necessity that will be beneficial for me and my household?

Stopping to think about whether you really like the item, and how it will add to your life might help put it in perspective for you!

2. How long have I been thinking about this purchase?

If you've been researching the product or thinking about it for a while, you're on your way to a good decision. You could also ask, 'Would I make this same purchase in 24 hours?' These questions help us reduce spontaneous decisions that we might later regret.

3. Do I have enough money to buy this today, which won't impact on my bills or payments?

If it's a stretch and you're reaching into next week's groceries, today is not the right time. Is there a way to save up instead?

"I often feel like I need to have the next best thing whether that be the current fashion fad or new gadget. However I've taught myself not to get caught up in it - a skill that has saved me so much money! Whenever feelings of urgency to buy "it" arise, I wait one day. 9 out of 10 times these feelings of urgency subside and I end up feeling better for it having saved the money and not made an unnecessary purchase" - Hannah

The Salvation Army's Monecare program encourages you to go on a buying reflection journey. Have a goal in mind like steering away from AfterPay and using it less, spending less online this month, or start saving for Christmas! Whatever it is, asking yourself a couple of questions before you buy something goes a long way in removing regret!

(Article sourced from The Salvation Army's Moneycare's "You're the Boss" Program)

For extra help with your goals, get in touch with a financial counsellor. They're free, independent and confidential.


The Mobile Homeless

Orange Sky mobile laundry and One Voice mobile showers have been operating around Adelaide for several years providing much needed services for people sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness. Each service works in conjunction with many community centres, church groups and social welfare agencies.

Fred's Van is a mobile food service that provides hot, nutritious meal, blankets, clothing and food vouchers, donated books, social connection and referrals to other community service and Government agencies.

Foodbank now has several Vans to help to bring supermarket to those in need and have been trialing in regional areas.

The good thing about these mobile service is that they can change their roster and location to suit the needs of the homeless. They are supported by volunteers who treat the clients with the dignity they deserve and can lend an ear over a coffee or a hot meal. Although operating independently there are times across the roster where they overlap to provide a wider range of basic services available to where the need is greatest.

Affordable SA is a mobile resource providing greater access to support services for South Australians and empowering house holds facing difficulties. It helps connect the dots using plain language between all the services available and provides an easy self guiding mobile application so that those in need can make informed decisions to take better control over their financial decisions and obtain useful assistance for their well being.

Overseas in London they have come up with an idea turning the iconic red double decker into mobile shelters for the homeless. The buses have room for dining as well as computer terminals to help people to start to reconnect with services. https://buses4homeless.org. In Adelaide we already utilise bus terminals for code red and blue days so an extra bus or two parked in the terminal doesn't seem an unreasonable thing to consider.