The Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) resulted in financial despair for many West Australians – leading to an increase in Communicares' emergency resources and forecasted peak in delivery of financial counselling services.
In efforts to curtail the spread of the virus whilst preserving the health and safety of others, the introduction of physical distancing forced many to work from home. Over 450,000 people were indefinitely placed on the Commonwealth governments’ historic Jobkeeper
wage subsidy and in worse cases, others lost their jobs.
Communicare received additional funding for the Emergency Assistance program providing necessities to individuals and families experiencing financial hardship in crisis situations and assists members of our communities.
Between March to June, the program provided more than $155,000 in emergency relief funding to 650 people with majority of the funds covering food, water and toiletries.
During this period, 80% of clients who accessed the service were new and over 1000 referrals were made to link people to other services both internal and external of the program.
A key reason for this lies in our collaborations with sector colleagues and the opportunity to provide more holistic and streamlined services for individuals and families in need.
These include partnerships with St Vincent de Paul to deliver emergency relief in the Peel region and the Financial Counselling Network to offer additional support through the Emergency Relief Food Assistance Service and the HUGS Service Centre.
Economists predict the financial impacts of the virus will continue so it is important people seek assistance to prevent future financial hardship.
Our Financial counselling service offers free assistance in budget management and debt renegotiation, financial alternatives and professional advice so people make informed decisions in relation to some of the options that have become available to them during this period.
This free of charge service can help people avoid future financial hardship through budget management, debt renegotiation and providing advice so people make informed decisions in relation to some of the options that have become available to them during this period.
As part of our commitment to improving the lives of those in our communities and given the unprecedented circumstances stemming from Covid-19, our bid to help others make more informed financial decisions expects to further extend.
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