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Victor Harbor Salvos launches Red Shield Appeal and new Business Advisory Group


Captain Kylie Hodges (centre) with volunteers Barbara (left) and Karen.
By ANTHONY CASTLE

The Victor Harbor Red Shield Appeal launch opened with an Acknowledgement of Country and a moment of prayer, before a video on the Salvos’ work in the community was shared.


Victor Harbor Corps Officers Captains Nathan and Kylie Hodges have been based in South Australian town for two years.


“When Kylie and I arrived here,” Nathan says, “we very quickly realised that we had an amazing opportunity for the church to bless the community and to provide for the needs of the vulnerable. Right from the start when we first heard about coming to Victor Harbor, there was an excitement for us.”


Nathan introduced the new Business Advisory Group during the launch – an exciting initiative that will see a much greater connection between the area and the business community. Nathan introduced its members and outlined the goals the group has for the future.


Salvation Army supporters and friends gathered for the Red Shield Appeal launch in Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide.

“The advisory group is designed to help provide expert advice and local knowledge,” Nathan says. “It will raise our profile and help with fundraising efforts, as ambassadors for The Salvation Army. We’re aiming to add to the group and to create gender balance with people from different sectors of the community.”


The Salvation Army’s Social Justice Stocktake reveals Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu Peninsula communities are most concerned about mental health, housing affordability, family violence, alcohol and drug misuse, poverty and financial hardship.


“We see people lonely and isolated, struggling with mental health, family domestic violence and the cost of living,” Nathan explains. “We’re seeing an increase in middle-class people seeking help, and a rise in homelessness.”


Victor Harbor Salvos provides vital support to those struggling with these issues, all of which contribute to the complexities of homelessness.


“Imagine you are standing on the edge of a cliff, and all of this pressure is mounting up on you,” Nathan says. “Rent. Electricity. Gas. Food. Car payments. Medical. Kids. Before you fall and require an ambulance at the bottom, we are there as a fence at the top of the cliff to prevent people from falling into crisis.”


Victor Harbor Salvos offer safe and inclusive support to the community through a free brunch, an emergency assistance phone line, and donations from local supermarkets and bakeries.


Captain Nathan Hodges with Moira Jenkins, Victor Harbor Mayor.

The site hosts Hope Garden, a volunteer community garden where all produce goes to those who need it. There is a free laundry room, and a community chicken coop, Hens of Hope, is currently under construction. Renovations are also taking place that will establish an affordable food market, so those in need can shop within their means.


“The food will be accessed from different sources,” Nathan says. “We will then sell it at a cheaper rate than in the local shops. It’s not to make a profit but to cover costs and provide affordable food so people can reallocate the funds they have to pay bills.”


Funds raised from Red Shield Appeal provide opportunities to support Victor Harbor Salvos’ work, particularly its community brunch and emergency support not covered by government funding.


“Red Shield funding helps us set people up with emergency relief that’s outside the box,” Nathan adds. “If someone comes in and says they have a job interview but need a haircut, we can cover that. If someone lives in their car and is really struggling with a car payment – if it’s their source of accommodation and transport – we could pay part of that bill. Red Shield makes it possible.”


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