Emergency relief services are delivered by community organisations to support people who are 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. This makes them vulnerable to financial shock such as high utility bills. Others may need support due to 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
- mental health support
- 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 help minimise people’s potential dependence on assistance and build strong networks within their local communities.
The type of help offered by each organisation varies. Help 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.
Ask Izzy is a free and anonymous way to find national and local support. It includes services like housing, meals, healthcare, counselling, legal advice and many more.