Home > Agency News > New need for emergency relief

New need for emergency relief

TENS OF thousands of Brisbane residents felt the financial impact of the Global Financial Crisis and January’s floods but for the poorest citizens these events have left them in dire need of help to survive.

Wesley Mission Brisbane’s (WMB) Emergency Relief services provide food parcels, household items and basic financial help to those most in need.

Emergency Relief Services manager, David Baker, has a unique perspective.

“With the GFC we started to see more people who were working and comfortable, and had no idea they would ever have
to access a service like ours. 

“We saw people affected by the floods who lost everything.”

The majority of WMB’s Emergency Relief recipients are under 35 years old and on a Disability Support Pension, mainly due to mental illness; many are homeless.

But this demographic is changing.

“We are seeing more aged pensioners which is significant as that age group is traditionally reluctant to seek financial support and have much more experience in managing with less,” he said.

“We are also seeing more people for the first time or who haven’t seen us for years.”

The Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) has released a series of reports on the cost of living for Queenslanders.

QCOSS president, Karyn Walsh, said, “A basic standard of living is simply unreachable for many Queenslanders.”

Services are also at risk.

Extra funding Emergency Relief services received because of the GFC is going to be reduced.

Consequently they are looking for donors, corporate partners and volunteers to serve the 10 000 people they assist each year.

For more information contact David Baker on d.baker@wmb.org.au or 3221 6309