Its grim for many
New Salvation Army research has revealed that more than three million Australians are likely to contact a charity for help with basic necessities, such as food or power during the Christmas holidays.
The research, commissioned through Roy Morgan as part of The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal, also revealed:
Nearly half a million people experienced fear of being physically or emotionally abused when thinking back to last Christmas.
One in four Australian adults experienced anxiety, three million experienced depression and two million experienced social isolation when thinking back to last Christmas.
Six million Australians feel obligated to spend more than they can afford at Christmas; and
More than seven million Australians say Christmas is the most stressful time of year.
The Salvation Army’s Major Bruce Harmer said the organisation was shocked with these figures.
‘‘We see hardship at The Salva-
●●●●tion Army on a daily basis, but these results are surprising and suggest the real picture of poverty in Australia is worse than previously thought,’’ Major Harmer said.
‘‘The Salvos will likely see an increased strain on our services this Christmas, in what will be the busiest time of the year.
‘‘This increased need will see more people seeking our help this Christmas.
‘‘Typically more than 300 000 people turn to the Salvation Army for support at this time of year.
‘‘We also distribute more than 100 000 meals and distribute more than half a million toys and gifts for Aussies in need at Christmas.’’
With 69 per cent of those surveyed revealing that spending time with family and friends was their favourite memory of last Christmas, Major Harmer said it was important to remember those who would be going it alone this festive season.
‘‘Hardship and loneliness hits hardest during the Christmas period,’’ Major Harmer said.
‘‘Across the country there are literally millions of Australians needing support.
‘‘So please, donate to The Salvation Army and help us give hope where it’s needed most this Christmas.’’
The Salvation Army urges anyone in need of assistance this Christmas to reach out for support.
‘‘For anyone who would like to donate to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal, a gift of $29 will allow the Salvos to put food on the table and presents under the tree for Aussies in need,’’ Major Harmer said.
This research respondents, 19 455 000 people. It also revealed that: 95 per cent of all households who access the Salvos’ emergency services are living in poverty.
The average client is living on just $21 a day after paying accommodation expenses.
81 per cent of people privately renting or paying a mortgage are living under extreme housing
●●●involved 1042 representing stress, paying more than half of their income towards housing.
43 per cent have very limited social connections and feel isolated most of the time; and
67 per cent report that food affordability is their greatest challenge on a day-to-day basis.
The Salvation Army does not simply help people at Christmas, it supports hundreds of thousands of Australians throughout the year, providing a host of vital social services including:
Christmas Cheer program that provides hampers, food and gifts.
●●●Hosting Christmas around the country.
Offering family welfare ance.
Refuge for women and children in crisis. Homeless shelters. Youth drop-in centres and support programs. Emergency and disaster relief. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Employment services and training programs; and Chaplaincy support.