Emergency relief services are delivered by community organisations and help people address immediate basic needs in times of crisis. Emergency relief can act as a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship and who have limited means or resources to help them alleviate their financial crisis.
People accessing emergency relief typically have a low or no income, making them vulnerable to financial shock such as high utility bills. Others need support as a result of an unforeseen or life changing event such as illness or family violence.
Emergency relief organisations can be the first point of contact for an individual with complex needs, allowing for referral to more intensive support such as financial counselling or mental health or alcohol and other drugs support. This early intervention with a wraparound approach can lead to better outcomes and future self-sufficiency for individuals and families.
The organisations delivering emergency relief build strong networks within their local communities to assist individuals to minimize potential dependence on assistance.
Emergency relief organisations provide immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. The type of assistance offered by each organisation varies, however may include one-off assistance such as:
- food, transport or chemist vouchers
- part-payment of utility account/s
- food parcels or clothing
- budgeting assistance and/or
- referrals to other services that help to address underlying causes of financial crisis.