Carinity and Red Hill church helping families with post-Christmas debt burden
Christmas has come and gone and for many, buying gifts and festive food or paying for summer holidays has burned a hole in their budget.
As credit card repayments add up some families have started the New Year unable to pay for essential food, back-to-school items and rent, electricity and other utilities bills.
A Brisbane church is helping local people out of debt and poverty, through a service being supported by Carinity.
Windsor Road Baptist Church at Red Hill runs a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) debt counselling centre, supported by a Carinity Innovation Grant.
The church received $3000 from Carinity to buy IT equipment, to enable Red Hill CAP Debt Centre workers to access secure client information “at all times and locations”. Church members deliver debt education two days a week.
“A fundamental of the CAP approach to debt counselling is to meet clients in their own homes where possible,” Red Hill CAP Debt Centre Manager David Young says.
“Sometimes this is not possible for reasons of distance or client security but as one of the primary objectives we need to be equipped to present to the clients and collect the required data from them in all circumstances.
“In this respect mobile communications and devices are an absolute necessity. The Carinity grant has been applied specifically to the acquisition of a high configuration iPad and iPhone dedicated to the CAP applications and client details.
“This ensures availability at all times and locations while keeping sensitive client data sequestered in dedicated servers. Only contact information and emails are stored on the device.”
Mr Young says Red Hill CAP Debt Centre, which was launched in November 2017, hopes to engage 30 new clients in 2018.
Red Hill CAP Debt Centre is one of nine Baptist Church community initiatives across Queensland to be funded by the latest round of Carinity Innovation Grants, with a total of $43,500 in grants allocated.
Carinity CEO Jon Campbell says the Carinity Innovation Grants, available to Queensland Baptist Churches, were highly competitive with applications exceeding previous years.
“The decision to award the grants is extremely difficult as there are so many fantastic initiatives. What it shows is that Christian communities are continuing to step up to support local community need,” he says.
“Carinity has helped kick-start more than 120 church initiatives in local communities across the state through grants totalling $373,500 over the past 12 years.”
To find out more about the Carinity Innovation Grants call 3550 3737 or visit www.carinity.org.au/innovation-grants.