CSF Annual Report 2017 CSF Annual Report - 24.10.17 FINAL - Page 7

Emergency Relief Program CSF’s Emergency Relief (ER) Program has had its busiest year in our Material Aid provision history with 9,565 instances of ER provision (by our community interviewers) compared with 5374 in the previous reporting period. On top of this, a further 5,885 instances of non-pantry items were recorded, which includes people who visit CSF to take bread, bakery and other perishable items at reception - without necessariliy seeing a community worker. With the closure of significant meals services in Frankston. CSF played a significant role in the Frankston Council facilitated interim meal arrangements which included sandwich lunches being made available from our reception space twice per week. Thousands of sandwich lunches were provided over the 12+ month period and aren’t included in our main ER program statistics. In terms of our Department of Social Services (DEX Reporting) CSF’s main areas of session assistance included food parcel and vouchers (7,672), material goods (782), rent and mortgage assistance (284), utility bills assistance (209) transport assistance (204), and health care assistance (126). These sessions all include an assessment with one of our dedicated and highly skilled community interviewers. Following the 2015 cuts to Emergency Relief Grant funding and the move to competitive tendering for funds, CSF needed to rise to the challenge of keeping up with increased community requests for help with less funding. CSF’s increase in volunteer numbers is in no small part represented by a growing number of food program volunteers who have assisted CSF to grow its in-kind donations from a conservative estimate of $96,823 (2015-16) to $216,716 (2016-17). Included in this in-kind support is an estimated 19,010kg’s in perishable foods and 8,542 pre-cooked healthy meals between Avocare and Fareshare deliveries. Meanwhile CSF volunteers and partners assisted with sorting and distributing the remaining 14,918kg’s (mainly fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy items). We would also like to pay special mention to the Operation Larder team who continue to be our biggest pantry (dry goods) contributors, helping us to keep our food costs down and funds directed to other material aid supports for people in need. CSF has also been greatly assisted by Hocking Stuart in Frankston, coming on board as an Emergency Relief sponsor over the reporting period to assist CSF in covering the cost of our ‘hot meal voucher’ program. Community Support Frankston Despite the additional assistance provided, CSF has needed to direct more funds to our Food and Food/Clothing/Petrol Voucher costs, Household goods, Removal/Storage and Miscellaneous assistance for people in need. We have also needed to direct more ER funding to assist people with essential pharmaceutical, dental, optical and other medical costs and remain on the lookout for an organisation to become an ER ‘sponsor’ and help us to offset a majority of these costs. The laundry voucher initiative has been well received by increasing numbers of people in Frankston who don’t have access to washing facilities and a community partner (i.e. local business) to assist with these growing costs is being sought. Included in the $8,180 miscellaneous ER assistance are medical costs and transport for sick clients and car repairs with a growing number of clients disclosing that they have no fixed address and have resorting to living in their cars for shelter. This is reflected in our volunteer interviewer issues reporting which shows a rise in accommodation related problems for clients 1895 compared to 1250 in the previous year. A minor category break down shows an increase in homelessness (649 compared with 336), high rental costs (278 compared with 157) and home eviction (108 compared with 68) - based on client instances. There were 10,320 issues identified by volunteer community workers in the 12 month period, an increase from the 6,988 issues recorded 2015-16. All major category areas have increased in terms of issues reporting and can be referred to on pg.9 of the Annual Report. Our largest major category area is health related problems with an increase in alcohol, drug, general and mental health related presentations. We’ve also seen an increase in clients that disclose having no income, insufficient income or have income issues relating to prison release. Our increase in issues reporting reflects our service having become much busier with our volunteers having responded to 24,490 enquiries from 11,423 client contact, or roughly 2 enquiries per client contacts. This is also an increase from 11,174 enquiries from 7,136 client contacts (1.5 enquiries per contact) in the previous reporting period. In terms of material aid encounters by gender, CSF had more female than male clients but a higher frequency of male encounters that were provided with ER assistance following an assessment. | Annual Report 2017 7