As the first cold days of winter begin to set in, The Salvation Army is reminding people that many people are finding life harder than most of us.
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The annual Red Shield Appeal has been launched for 2016, and Captain Craig Wood says this year’s theme is ‘Help End Homelessness Now’. The Salvation Army is the nation’s biggest provider of homelessness services and has been assisting people in need for over 130 years.
Network director of SalvoConnect Western Janet White says their Ballarat services are focussed on women and their children.
“We offer crisis accommodation for women over 25, which is 13 nights; and emergency accommodation which is a six-week program. Unfortunately women are usually with us for three to six months, because there is a lack of exit points to put people into safe housing,” says Ms White.
“We also support young single pregnant women/couples (aged under 25 years) or with children in transitional accommodation for up to 12 months. During this time we work together developing independence, parenting and life skills.
“We can also move children into our peer mentor program which is called LARF – Lifeskills, Activities, Relationships and Fun. This program recruits young volunteers, from within the community, (under 25) to mentor upper primary and lower secondary school children.”
The appeal hopes to raise $60,000 in Ballarat, which not only assists the funding for accommodation for women programs and a range of initiatives at SalvoConnect such as child care, our mentor program, emergency relief and other community programs .
"For the 2015-16 financial year, The Salvation Army committed $721,464 from nationally raised Red Shield Appeal funds to the Ballarat community, highlighting the increased need for the people of Ballarat to contribute, said Captain Wood.
Ballarat mayor Des Hudson formally opened the appeal, and noted that while Ballarat gives generously, there’s never enough money to do everything that needs to be done in the welfare sector.
“The continued success of the Red Shield Appeal is down to two things: the generosity of Australians and the confidence and trust we have in The Salvation Army,” said Mr Hudson.
The Salvation Army Red Shield Doorknock Appeal will take place next weekend, the 28th and 29th of May. To volunteer or donate to the Red Shield Appeal please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), visit salvationarmy.org.au, or in person at any Westpac Bank branch.
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