Emergency Relief assists people in immediate financial crisis. The Australian Government's ER funding is intended to provide a supplement to the existing activities of community and charitable organisations, which generally receive other government funding and/or donations from the public.
The objective of the program is to assist people in financial crisis to deal with their immediate crisis situation in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and encourages self reliance.
Assistance from Emergency Relief providers to clients is primarily in the form of:
- purchase vouchers of a fixed value (eg for food, transport or chemist vouchers),
- assistance with rent/accommodation,
- part-payment of utility account/s,
- material assistance such as food parcels or clothing; and/or
- appropriate referrals to other services that help to address underlying causes of financial crisis.
It is expected that in most cases assistance will be for a one-off purpose and clients will not develop a dependence on regular or frequent assistance.
Approximately 750 community organisations, operating from about 1300 outlets, receive Emergency Relief funding.