Salvos flood work goes on
THE Salvation Army in Ipswich aims to set up a “one-stop shop” to help flood-affected and other needy residents at its South Street base.
Major Bruce Dobbie said “a holistic approach” to crisis recovery was needed, including the services of psychologists, financial counsellors and solicitors.
“That’s our vision. I don’t know how long that’s going to take,” he said.
“This may not happen for six months. It’s just not a band-aid solution.
“With the floods, it’s now more crucial.”
Major Dobbie said the centre had been visited recently by flood victims who threatened suicide.
“Everything catches up with them and they don’t know which way to turn,” he said.
The Salvos have been swamped with donations of clothing and household goods, and are running out of storage space.
Major Dobbie pleaded with people wanting to give to flood relief to confine their donations to cash, vouchers or new whitegoods.
“When businesses start opening up, they need the financial support of local people,” he said.
“Flood victims have to have some dignity.”
Recovery centres at the Bremer Institute of TAFE College, Bundamba, and Ipswich Showgrounds closed yesterday. Community Services Minister Karen Struthers said an outreach service would still be available.
“Our staff will go out to homes,” she said.
Ms Struthers was in Ipswich yesterday to thank The Salvation Army’s Ipswich branch for its contribution to the flood recovery.
“You’ve done a tremendous job,” she said. “It’s going to be a long haul.”
Non-government agencies like Red Cross, Lifeline and the Salvos were essential in helping communities get back on track, Mrs Struthers said.
“I want to reassure people that, even though the initial emergency response is over, we are still very focused on places like Ipswich. “So far we’ve helped almost 7000 Ipswich households with personal hardship grants.”
Major Margaret Dobbie said the Salvos had provided more than 12,000 meals at the Ipswich Showgrounds evacuation centre.
“We’ve had a great team of people behind us,” she said.
Anyone who can give the use of a warehouse or warehouse space in Ipswich for a distribution centre is asked to call Major Bruce Dobbie on 0438 002 824.
People who need State Government assistance can call the Community Recovery Line on 1800 173 349.