Update from Baptist Care SA: Michael Hynes, Acting CEO
Over the past five months, demand for our Inner City services including Emergency Relief, the WestCare Centre and Community Food Hub, has increased more than 700%. I’m sure you’ll have read the news that significant numbers of international students are now struggling to find enough money to pay their bills and are joining the queues to access support – along with families impacted by unemployment who are struggling to make ends meet. Please read more about this here.
It is humbling to acknowledge the ongoing support offered by our Baptist churches. Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have continued to find ways to give (non-perishable food, blankets and financial donations). Please note that due to the ongoing restrictions for our loyal volunteers (only a few have been able to return to date), we ask that bulk donations are made on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if at all possible, when we hope to have people available to assist with unloading.
During the months of July and August, there have been several instances of ‘Code Blue’ when extra support is offered to rough sleepers because of extreme weather conditions. During this time Baptist Care SA has provided 24/7 services five times welcoming 74 individuals (and a few dogs) into the warmth of the WestCare Centre for a hot meal, warm bed and the opportunity to rest safely.
As I write this, our Baptist Care SA Month Calendar is ‘Lighting the Darkness’ by inviting us all to Celebrate, pray, learn and take action. Today’s action relates to the young people with a lived experience of homelessness who we care for each year.
Some of you would be aware of the key role Baptist Care SA plays in caring for children under state guardianship. In the past 12 months, more than 133 children and young people have been in our care. Many of these have experienced significant trauma, neglect and abuse and have witnessed or been subjected to family violence. We greatly value our dedicated and professional staff who work around the clock to provide support and opportunities to these clients. This important work is currently being impacted by a series of reforms being implemented by SA government which will fundamentally change the way we deliver our services and the employment model for our staff. There are a lot of questions about this process and while we are determined to continue to provide quality care, this is a difficult time for our management and teams. I ask for your prayers as we continue to work to safeguard these young people and respectfully engage with our staff.
As you’re probably aware, I’ll be Acting CEO until early November when we look forward to welcoming Graham back. His operation went well and he is now focusing on a speedy recovery. Should you wish to contact me, please call Rebecca Carter on 8273 7100 or email email@example.com.