The Australian Government is providing the Salvation Army in the Lismore/Tweed region with more than $220,000 for an emergency relief project to help local families at risk of homelessness.

Page MP Janelle Saffin said vulnerable people often turned to the Salvos for help with their immediate needs like food and clothing, pharmacy and transport vouchers.

“Under this project, the Salvation Army will also provide intensive support to families who are at risk of being evicted because they can’t pay the rent or mortgage,” Ms Saffin said.

“A caseworker will help with budgeting and link families up with assistance from financial counsellors, housing and employment services to address underlying problems.

“This project is about preventing homelessness. It will help local families under rental stress to better manage their finances and get help before they hit rock-bottom.

“There will be assistance to help families avoid the threat of eviction, to pay bonds, connect utilities and help with relocation costs.

“This is about helping families with children to maintain a stable environment, to help them stay connected with their schools, family members and support networks.”

From March 2009 to June 2011, the Australian Government is providing $80.4 million in additional funding to emergency relief and financial counselling services, in recognition of the impact of the global economic downturn.