The Salvation Army is helping its Dubbo clients experiencing rental stress while asking for continued support in bringing "hope to our local community".
Volunteer collectors for the charity's annual Red Shield Appeal have started appearing in shopping centres with the Corps Officer of the Orana region, Dubbo-based Captain David Sutcliffe, urging people to dig deep.
The "Salvos" at Dubbo have set an appeal target of $19,500 which would help fund a range of programs in the city including free community lunches for people seeking company and workshops offering life skills such as cooking and preparing a budget.
Volunteer collectors and Captain Sutcliffe also are attending the 2021 Regional Australia Bank Dubbo Show where a Salvos' stand is providing free beverages, snacks and a place to rest.
On his way to man the stand on Friday, Captain Sutcliffe revealed current call on the charity at Dubbo included people who had not received "pandemic bonuses" in 2020 and others who had had their "payments slashed".
What has happened over the last 12 to 18 months is a lot of the people we work with, who rent their houses, have had to move out as property owners have chosen to do work over this period.The Salvation Army's Captain David Sutcliffe
"The other unexpected thing we have encountered is a lot of people are having issues in regards to housing affordability and housing availability," he said.
"What has happened over the last 12 to 18 months is a lot of the people we work with, who rent their houses, have had to move out as property owners have chosen to do work over this period."
Captain Sutcliffe said an "extreme shortage" of rental accommodation in Dubbo made it harder for them to re-enter the market and rents had "gone right up" resulting in people becoming financially stretched.
"They are entering rentals they really can't afford," he said.
The Red Shield Appeal runs throughout May with The Salvos in Dubbo choosing to "go where the people are".
Captain Sutcliffe has thanked the community for its ongoing support.
"Please dig deep and help us to continue to bring hope to our local community," he said.
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