Newly vulnerable Tasmanians turning to the Salvos for help during COVID-19 pandemic

With more than 20,000 Tasmanians losing their jobs in recent weeks as a result of the COVID-19 crisis*, now more than ever, those in need are turning to The Salvation army for urgent help.

The call for help comes as The Salvos prepare for the annual Red Shield Appeal weekend (May 23 and 24 2020) which supports hardship support services across the country.

The Salvos’ Doorways centres are still open and are providing support across the state, helping people meet their day to day expenses, pay unexpected bills and supporting those in crisis.

“No one should ever have to go without the essentials, and with so many people losing their jobs in our local communities, our Doorways services are providing crucial support – now more than ever,” says Stacey Milbourne, State Manager Doorways Program.

“We’ve had to change the way we operate to meet social distancing requirements, including moving to telephone interviews and assessments, keeping face to face meetings at our offices to under 15 minutes.

“We’ve also been delivering food hampers right across the state, to support the elderly, those with disabilities or illnesses and other people currently in isolation as a result of the pandemic,” says Ms Milbourne.

The Salvation Army is one of three agencies that have been selected to partner with the Tasmanian Government to provide emergency services and support to people in crisis during this time.

The Salvos have been purchasing food for hampers from local businesses to support local economies (using their contacts to secure wholesale prices) and have been packing, then delivering, the hampers to those in need all over the state.

“We know the number of people who need urgent support is going to keep increasing as even more people lose their jobs and Government support like JobKeeper and the additional payments under JobSeeker are rolled back in the coming months,” says Ms Milbourne.

“With the economy likely to suffer in the years to come, we’re expecting a larger than normal need from people from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds.

“We’re bracing for ongoing increases in the number of people seeking our help with financial problems, homelessness and domestic violence.

“Now, more than ever, we’re relying on the generosity of Australians to support our annual Red Shield Appeal, so we can help even more people in need during these unprecedented times.

“For the first time in its 55-year history, our traditional door-knock is running online this year (2020), due to COVID-19,” says Ms Milbourne.

To leave no one in need, please make a tax-deductible donation at or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58). The national target is $35 million by June 30 2020.

The Salvation Army’s most recent annual report noted its social services provided more than 1 million sessions of care to Australians in need, helped 46,000 people experiencing homelessness, provided financial counselling to more than 65,000 and offered care to 13,000 people who were coping with family violence.**

Those in need of urgent support or financial assistance can contact The Salvation Army’s Doorways on (03) 6228 8400.

The Salvos Doorways centres provide emergency relief and holistic case management with referral to internal and external support services. The service also helps identify and solve the issues contributing to long-term economic hardship, working hand in hand with Salvos’ Moneycare financial counselling program to assist people to regain control of their finances.

“The Salvos have been around for 140 years, through two World Wars, the Depression as well as natural disasters, including our most recent unprecedented bushfires across Australia, supporting the most vulnerable on the ground every step of the way.

“COVID-19 has seen everyday Aussies face greater hardship than they have ever experienced, impacting their physical, mental and financial health. We’re here to help – and we’re looking forward to the generous support of Australians through the Red Shield Appeal.

“We’re also hoping to see the continued generous support of the Tasmanian Government towards our life changing work and encourage it to dig even deeper this year (2020) in support of the Red Shield Appeal,” says Stacey Milbourne.

Source: The Salvation Army