WARRNAMBOOL charities say in the lead up to Christmas there has been a significant increase in people needing help.
With the high cost of utilities, rents and other everyday expenses, Warrnambool Salvation Army corps officer Major Peter Wood said the festive season often brought enormous pressures for some people.
“We do see an increase at this time of year,” he said.
“It can put a lot of pressure on household budgets to have a Christmas celebration.”
Mr Wood said some people in the community would not know how difficult it was to live on a low income and the constant stress that some people faced.
He said for people living on Newstart or other Centrelink payments it could be very hard to cover the cost of rent and bills and they often didn’t have the money to run a car.
He said it could also be difficult for people to ask for help.
“They don’t have enough to make ends meet,” he said.
“There are some people who don’t have a lot.
“People like to be independent and to take care of themselves.
“It can take a lot of courage for people to ask for a helping hand.”
Mr Wood said despite the challenges faced by some, the Warrnambool community continued to give to the charity.
He said the Salvation Army supported families and individuals with hampers and toys were provided through the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal and a toy run.
“There’s a lot of generosity out there and that’s the positive,” he said.
“A lot of people also come in with donations at this time of year, which is fantastic. It’s only through donations that we’re able to keep going.”
They don’t have enough to make ends meet.Peter Wood
St Vincent de Paul Glenelg Regional Council president Chris Pye said the charity saw a big increase in people needing assistance throughout December.
“It happens more around Christmas, that people are struggling,” he said.
“Costs pile up at Christmas, people are anticipating buying presents for their kids and things like that.
“The number of people that we’re seeing in the past couple of weeks has increased.
“Each conference might have four people visit a day, but at Christmas the amount of people a day is almost double.
“As it approaches Christmas, a lot more people are calling on our services.”