Ongoing Struggle to Meet Basic Needs

CIRCLE 110 update on activities in May 2020

During May, Circle 110 (Rapid Response for Refugees) has continued to focus on people in crisis referred by Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Agencies. The latter have been inundated with calls from individuals and families facing homelessness, hunger and cold, who have no income or Government Benefits, no savings and no-one else to ask for help.

Circle 110 payments for the calendar month of May amounted to an all-time high of nearly $13,000. Approximately 70% of this covered rent, food, warm clothes and bedding, heaters, medical, petrol and mobile phone costs, for 3 families (6 adults and 7 children). To make funds go further, good quality donated items were combined with new ones on hand or with Shopping Centre Vouchers, especially for clothes and shoes.

The remaining money helped 6 other individuals with smaller amounts for the same items. It also included the transfer of $400 through a Circle providing food hampers to temporarily support two couples living in rural areas whose businesses were forced to close.

Both the content of the spending and the amounts required reflect the hardship arising from the impact of COVID-19, particularly those with neither work nor money.

Something Positive

We have been blessed with donors’ generosity, enabling our Circle to say “yes” to everyone who has asked for help. Sincere thanks to you all – individuals, other Circles and Organisations including our friends at “Incognito Café”.

We wish we could share the smiles of those we help as they reiterate their thanks. We are touched by the pride they show when introducing their children and showing their homes which are so well cared for.

While we have no photos, we wanted to share some of the positive feedback we have received from support agencies, as these thanks belong to all our supporters as well:

I am very pleased with the amazing service you guys provide by assisting the people in need with financial & material aid. I would like to convey a ‘Big Thanks’ on behalf of my clients, (Agency) and myself. Thank you so much for getting to them and supporting them with basic amenities. My clients all rang me yesterday and they were so happy. Believe me, this makes you so happy and provides you a sense of achievement.

Thank you so much for making a difference in everyone’s lives through your positive work, warmth and reaching out attitude.

I manage clients with complex and sensitive needs. Thanks for reaching out and making them feel good about the system and environment around them.


Every amount spent is formally accounted for as COFA’s sterling Treasurer will tell you and a properly Audited Financial Report is completed at the end of each Financial Year.

If you would like to contribute to the work of the Rapid Response or any other Circle, Tax receipts are available for every donation above $2. When donating, please make sure you identify: the Circle you want your contribution to go; your name; and an email or postal address so a receipt can be sent to you. You can donate via our secure GiveNow page or contact us for bank transfer details.

For broader contextual information and lobbying advice please refer to the latest Newsletter from Justice for Refugees SA. Their Senate submission is especially informative.

So once again, sincere thanks to everyone supporting the efforts of Circles of Friends Australia in every way you do that.

Tricia, Denise and Leeanne (Rapid Response for Refugees Circle)