HOBART City Mission (HCM) has launched an Emergency Relief Appeal to fund the unprecedented demand for its services through the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Appeal will raise funds for HCM’s Emergency Relief program that provides food packs, food vouchers and other support to people struggling to make ends meet.
HCM chief executive officer John Stubley said it conducted a Winter Appeal every year, but this year was more important than ever.
“This year, with the huge impact that Coronavirus has had on our community, we have launched an Emergency Appeal to meet the increased need for our clients and the many new faces that we are already seeing,” he said.
Coronavirus has had an extreme impact on low-income and causal workers, with HCM having seen a dramatic increase in demand for their services.
The need for emergency relief services are already stretched through winter months, as families struggle to pay for electricity and warmer clothing.
Mr Stubley encouraged people to support those most in need by donating to the Emergency Relief Appeal.
“Often the food vouchers and other assistance allows people to use their limited funds on their rent while they’re going through financial difficulty, meaning they can stay in their homes,” he said.
“Tassie is in trouble and in times of trouble we pull together.
“If you do have the capacity to donate to the HCM Emergency Relief Appeal, then you’ll be helping people in our local community, so that we can get through this and grow to be a stronger and more caring Tasmania.”
HCM’s usual food supply chain has been dramatically affected by the bans on bulk-buying at major supermarkets.
HCM has expanded its food offerings to include pre-made fresh and frozen meals, which will be provided to HCM by Hamlet Café.
A portion of the meals will be distributed through HCM’s Emergency Relief Program, in addition to their normal food packs.
Some of the meals will also be sent to the Safe Night Space program, which provides a welcoming, safe and inclusive place for people who are vulnerable, isolated and homeless in Hobart.
Richard Chalmers from Tailored SEO has donated eight backpack beds to HCM as part of the Emergency Relief Appeal to provide portable outdoor shelters for those who are homeless in Hobart.
The backpack beds from national charity Backpack Beds for Homeless will provide warmth, comfort and dignity to people sleeping out in the elements.
“We know that there are roughly 160 people who are homeless on any one night and Safe Night Space can only cater for a certain number each night,” Mr Stubley said.
“Donations like the backpack beds are very much appreciated to help meet the demand and provide an alternative for people who may not yet be ready or able to stay at Safe Night Space.
The State Government has also provided funding for the Safe Night Space program for the next six months as a response to the threat of COVID-19.
With this support, the renamed Hobart ‘Safe Space’ will be open 24 hours per day and will expand to include ancillary services such as mental and medical health service, Housing Connect and drug and alcohol services.
To donate to the Emergency Relief Appeal, visit hobartcitymission.org.au/emergency or phone Hobart City Mission on 6215 4200.
Caption: Hobart City Mission chief executive officer John Stubley.