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NSW Bushfire recovery: The Salvation Army here for the long term

15 November 2013

The Salvation Army’s Community Recovery Plan outlines the projected distribution of all Bushfire Appeal funds throughout the different phases of disaster recovery over the next four to five years.

Salvation Army spokesperson, Major Bruce Harmer, says it is normal in disaster recovery work for the most costly part of the recovery effort to be further down the track.

“Those affected will need support in the longer term and this will be costly as they repair and rebuild existing homes or relocate to alternative accommodation,” Major Harmer said.

“Our plan for the distribution of Bushfire Appeal funds reflects this.”

As part of the crisis and initial phase of the plan, The Salvation Army has already released $1.7 million of Bushfire Appeal funds for distribution to fire affected individuals, families, businesses and communities in NSW by way of cash grants and other immediate assistance.

“We have been delivering crisis support to more than 180 of the affected families (representing more than 500 people) and have been seeing new people every day at our centres. Most of those we are assisting have been returning for further support as required, and will continue to do so,” Major Harmer said.

The Salvation Army has immense experience in this area of long term recovery operations, as demonstrated in our response after the Brisbane floods, Cyclone Yasi and the bushfires in Victoria.

Years on, Salvation Army personnel are still present supporting those affected by the Victorian bushfires of 2009, as well as Cyclone Yasi and the devastating Queensland floods of 2011.

More than $7.7 million has now been pledged to The Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal through the generosity of the Australian public and corporations. This money is pledged, with a realised figure of $2.7 million received to date.

The Salvation Army is currently providing and will continue to provide the following support services over the long term recovery effort; these services include access to emotional support and counselling, financial counselling as well as legal advice and assistance, cash assistance, food, clothing, furniture, furnishings, whitegoods, tools, other equipment, payment of accounts, help with accommodation, motor vehicle expenses, replacement of personal medical equipment.

Ongoing assistance will include relocation to temporary accommodation, setting up and repairs to property to enable rehabilitation, relocation back to original accommodation or other accommodation, support with rebuilding and / or relocation.

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

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