City Mission provided emergency relief assistance to 353 new clients in the 2015-16 financial year, the Launceston charity’s annual report revealed.
City Mission chief executive Stephen Brown said although the number of new clients was expected, the charity continued to notice service gaps. Mr Brown said City Mission focused on children’s grief and loss support, which could hopefully prevent children turning to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol as they grew older.
“There’s great need for that service, so we’re doing what we can,” Mr Brown said.
The report showed there were 80 clients receiving long-term support and rehabilitation at Missiondale, City Mission’s rehabilitation centre. Program completion reached record levels, increasing 27 per cent. Occupancy at Missiondale and the charity’s North-West ‘sobering up’ service Serenity House also reached new levels. Alcohol and methamphetamine remained the main drugs of concern, with 90 per cent of clients having one as their primary drug of concern.
Orana House, City Mission’s crisis accommodation service for men, recorded 93 per cent capacity. Mr Brown said City Mission’s crisis accommodation observed an “extraordinary number of turn-aways”, indicating a “high demand” for the service. He said a complex array of often inter-related issues led to clients’ homelessness, including marital breakdowns often linked to gambling or drug issues.
Mr Brown said City Mission would continue to find and try to fill gaps where they saw turn-aways.