For 56 years The Salvation Army has been helping Australian communities and now they are more relevant than ever on the Eyre Peninsula.
Every May, generations of Australians have donated to the thousands of Salvation Army volunteers who knock on doors, collect in shopping malls and other public places.
With the community still grappling with the global pandemic, Doorway Manager Antoinette Day and her team are handling the day-to-day provision of services to members of the Eyre Peninsula community seeking help.
“Homelessness is definitely a major issue, as there is not enough temporary accommodation and with the cold weather the risk to health and safety is increased,” Antoinette said.
“There are very few rental properties available. There is also an increase in the number of people with addictions and mental health issues.
“The rising cost of living has had a huge impact as people on low incomes struggle to manage their bills and feed their families.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased social, employment and mental health issues in the Whyalla area.
“A lot of people have lost their jobs and their incomes,” Antoinette said.
“The closures have isolated many people, especially those who don’t have family here. There have been family breakdowns due to financial issues and mental health issues.
“The price of food has risen dramatically and many people have said they cannot afford meat, fruit and vegetables, they receive basic items and school meals.
“Government payments need to reflect the rising cost of living. More housing or shelter for the homeless, even tents and sleeping bags, would help.”
This year the Salvation Army will collect at static points and have volunteers collect at different locations.
This year the locations are at Westlands by Woolworths, Whyalla Norrie Woolworths and Foodland IGA Whyalla.
For anyone needing help in the Whyalla area, there will be Salvation Army events that can lend a hand in the near future.
“The Salvation Whyalla Corps (Church) through our on-site cafe is looking to start an evening Connect group which will include dinner. Planning is still in its infancy at this stage,” Antoinette said.
“Our body seeks to include people wishing to connect and engage for a variety of reasons, our small thrift store, cafe and prayer room are spaces that we as Christians intend to connect and to participate in the daily life of our volunteers, clients and the community.”
For anyone wishing to contribute or volunteer their time to help others through the Salvation Army, you can call Antoinette on 0439 204 161.