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Service to help people avoid the “economic cliff”


Kristen Hartnett wants the community to know that Salvation Army Moneycare is here to help.

Based in Hamilton, the service provides free, non-judgmental and confidential financial counselling to help those who are experiencing financial hardship.

As manager of the service, Ms Hartnett hopes to help ease the stress and anxiety those facing financial troubles may be experiencing.

“We work with people and go through a step-by-step plan to help them through the financial challenge they are facing,” she says.

“We go through advice and what options they have.”

She adds there are often various reasons behind people’s financial troubles.

“What we have noticed is that it is usually a sudden change in circumstance [like] a job loss or relationship breakdown,” Ms Hartnett says.

“People [in these situations then] do what they can to survive, which can often lead to an economic breakdown.”

The demand for the service has been constant during the pandemic, and Ms Harnett says more non-residents have been in contact because they cannot access Centrelink.

She adds that the service is concerned about what will happen in the coming months.

“We’re just waiting for the economic cliff at the end of September when JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments change,” Ms Hartnett says.

“We are trying to help people come up with a collection of strategies to support them through it.”

The organisation encourages anyone needing assistance to reach out.

“It’s a free service, it’s as easy as a phone call,” Ms Hartnett says.

“Just call 4088 5820. The system can be very hard to navigate, so please let us help you.

“Just take a bit of time to see what can be done – early intervention makes a big difference; get ready for a change now.”

Call Salvation Army Moneycare on the number above or visit the information page on the Salvation Army’s website.

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