"There is No Shame in Asking for Help"

Monday 1 May 2020

Over the past few months we have received thousands of calls from people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. While social distancing measures have affected our ability to deliver face-to-face service, we have continued to be there for people in their time of need.

The financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly everyone in some way, and there are always local people everywhere who are struggling to get by. At our local Vinnies office on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Client Support Officers such as Christine Anthony have served as an invaluable lifeline in the community by stepping up to carry the load as other social service agencies close or struggle to meet the demand of people facing dire financial circumstances.

“We have had people referred to us from both government and non-government agencies who are out of work, particularly those on temporary visas who have lost casual work and been refused JobKeeper payment applications by their employer,” Christine explains.

“Because we have had to reduce our face-to-face interactions with people due to the coronavirus, I am worried that we will become impersonal as an organisation. But we are still doing our best to assist, and rethinking how we can help people to pay bills and afford food during the current challenges.”

While the NSW Government has introduced a temporary measure to protect tenants from eviction during the pandemic, Christine holds concerns for those facing the prospect of unmanageable back-dated rents or being without the safety of a place to call home during a public health crisis.

“I am most worried for those who are in private rentals, as we have seen an increase in evictions from private rental tenants regardless of the moratorium. One client came home to find himself locked out of his rental property as soon as he told his landlord he needed a rent reduction.” This matter has been referred to the Office of Fair Trading.

With so many people facing uncertain futures due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, Christine and our network of Client Support Officers throughout the state are here to offer support.

“I think people should know there is no shame in asking for help to provide for yourselves and your families. If you need it, you need it. There are always people willing to help, and I would like to thank our members and volunteers who continue to assist those who approach us for support.”

We are able to provide assistance in a variety of ways at Vinnies. Whether with clothing as we head into the colder winter months, vouchers to purchase food, support to pay bills or stepping in when unexpected expenses arise - we are determined to help carry the load and let people know they aren’t alone.

Anyone in need of assistance is welcome to give us a call on 13 18 12. If you’d like to help support those who need us right now, make a donation today.