Its grim for many

Benalla Ensign - - Year In Review -

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.

●●●●lunches as­sist-

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