CSF AR2018 Annual Report - Final-2018 - Page 7

Emergency Relief Program CSF’s Emergency Relief (ER) Program has had another busy financial year recording 16,634 instances of ER provision compared with 15,450 in the previous reporting period. 9,504 of these were instances of funded ER provision, with 7,130 being in-kind support - which includes clients who visit CSF to take bread, fresh fruit/ vegetables and other perishable items without necessarily waiting to see a community worker (interviewer). This financial year our ER program distributed more than $500,000 in financial and material aid assistance to people living within Frankston. This is quite astonishing considering that Federal ER Grant funding has remained at a lesser amount (following the 2015 cuts), but this does exemplify CSF’s ability to respond positively to adverse changes, at both funding and front-line service levels. Over the reporting period, CSF volunteers distributed more ER assistance in a 12-month period to disadvantaged people in Frankston than in the organisation’s history. The rising rate of homelessness in Frankston, as per the census housing data, is also reflected in our statistics, with a steady increase in people without housing seeking ER. In terms of ER (financial aid) provided to clients, an additional $43,054 was given out in the reporting period - compared with the previous financial year - to people in Frankston experiencing financial hardship. This included the distribution of an additional $24,664 in food cards (totalling $151,641), as well as providing $16,103 to help people with car registration and repairs - with a growing number of people reduced to living in their car - compared with $10,020 in the previous reporting period. Other major ER expenditure categories included funds spent on our pantry food, $21,027 (increase of $4,084), essential pharmaceutical, dental, optical and other medical costs $10,147 (increase of $2,610), utility bills $9,022 (increase of $1,036) as well as $27,047 towards rent in arrears, rent in advance, and crisis accommodation for people in a housing crisis. CSF receives no government funding for housing, but continues to work closely with WAYSS and SalvoCare Eastern to help people to gain or remain in housing. CSF’s in-kind donations have also continued to grow, with a conservative estimate of $239,689 in food and other material goods being donated and distributed to clients, compared with $216,716 in the previous reporting period. OzHarvest was our single largest provider of recovered foods, delivering 11,474kgs of food, which they estimate to be 34,421 meals. Community Support Frankston Issues reported by our volunteers showed an increase in presentations from people who are struggling with a range of complex problems, including (but not exclusive to) more people requesting help due to domestic violence, debt, mental health, prison release and general health-related problems. More often that not, people who re-present at CSF for financial and material support simply can’t manage to live on government-supported payments - particularly those on a Newstart Allowance. CSF had a 20% increase in people presenting and needing budgeting advice, and in many cases there simply wasn’t enough income versus understandable expenditure. Breakdown of Client Issues - 01.07.17 to 30.06.18 DEBT/UTILITIES 2016-2017 ACCOMMODATION 12% 19% TRANSPORT 5% SUPPORT SERVICES 4% EDUCATION 3% EMPLOYMENT 2% PAPERWORK 2% LEGAL 7% INCOME 18% HEALTH 28% There were 8967 client issues identified by our volunteers in the reporting period, with the significant major category areas being health (2572), followed by accommodation (1742) and income (1576). Our total number of enquiries - which extends to the information and advocacy side of CSF services - totalled 21,314, which represents a decrease from last year, but this isn’t surprising with increased face-to-face encounters. There was an increase in face-to-face assistance: 11,878 compared to 10,250 in the previous reporting period. With more people coming to CSF asking for help, this puts increased time pressure on our volunteers to record all client issues and enquiries - instead prioritising less extensive wait times for our often distressed clients. Breakdown of client income sources showed that people trying to survive on a Newstart Allowance made up 44% of those receiving financial assistance, with those on Disability Support making up 30%. Countries of birth breakdown show that people from 66 countries other than Australia were provided with ER assistance. People born in New Zealand and Great Britain were the most frequent countries of birth other than Australia. In terms of Material Aid encounters by gender, CSF had a higher frequency of male encounters (57%) compared with females . | Annual Report 2018 7