Providing relief in tough times
Rose* was living day-to-day in fear for her life at the hands of her abusive partner, contemplating suicide as her only way out. Wesley Mission Brisbane’s Emergency Relief service provided her with the fare she needed to travel to safe accommodation. Rose returned to Emergency Relief several months later, to thank the staff for saving her life.
Emergency Relief is a service that gives aid to people in financial crisis by providing food parcels, groceries cards, no interest loans and payment of rent and other vital bills. The service also provides "baby bundles" – essential items for new mothers – Christmas gifts and a range of other items to help struggling families through hard times.
David Baker has been managing the service for over nine years. "Something we are seeing more and more is generational poverty," explains David. "This means we’re seeing two or more generations of a family coming in and seeking help, meaning that their issues aren’t being addressed and a cycle is forming."
After helping around 10,000 people between 2010 and 2011, the program is home to numerous success stories. The annual gift appeal with Uniting Care and Target, where the community is encouraged to donate gifts for those who normally go without, is a particular favourite.
"There was a huge response last year," says David. "It enabled Emergency Relief to make Christmas and beyond a much happier time for many people in crisis."
"One story involved a Mum and her two young children. She quietly approached a staff member after her kids had received their presents, saying she felt cared-for for the first time in a long time, and that she would remember her children’s smiles forever."