Salvation Army Port Macquarie is preparing for a sharp rise in demand for its social support services as the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic are felt.
Support services are staying open to benefit the community as the Salvation Army operates four weekdays in Port Macquarie and each Tuesday at the Family Store in Wauchope.
Salvation Army Port Macquarie Major Heather Unicomb said help will be open and ongoing for the benefit of the community.
"So far we haven't seen an increase in people other than a lot of extra people who came in on March 23," Major Unicomb said.
"For many people they may need help with fuel to get home or they may need help with food and things like that.
"The assistance usually given here is vouchers so that people can buy groceries or things like that.
"We are making sure that the community knows we are available and we have many people in the community saying they are happy to help if needed."
Major Unicomb said she expects there will be many people seeking help and sites will remain open by compiling with social-distancing guidelines.
"We care and we want to continue caring," she said.
There are concerns the economic impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis will push many people into a state of emotional and financial duress, according to National Secretary for Mission, Lt-Colonel Lyn Edge.
"We are committed to our ongoing work with and alongside vulnerable Australians. We are listening to government advice and adapting to respond to our current situation," Lt-Colonel Edge said.
"Many of our programs and services are considered essential services and will continue. Things like homelessness program, our emergency relief, our bushfire and drought responses.
"We're committed to those we are already working with, and will respond, as we are able, to the emerging need in these days ahead.
"While our frontline services will remain focused on responding to the growing community need, leadership will look towards the lessons learned and how The Salvation Army could creatively and appropriately adapt the way it operates - from social services to Sunday worship at its faith community centres and public engagement."
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