Rapid Response Circle of Friends (Circle 110) update

In recent months, the Rapid Response Circle has continued to provide food, bedding and clothes and, where there is no other option, supporting refugees and asylum – seekers financially.

As usual the expenditure, as outlined below, is varied and indicative of the various emergencies that can derail the life of people with little or no income including rental or utility arrears and medical emergencies.

Three urgent needs for housing were covered – several weeks in a motel for a small family evicted from their long held rental property, a short stay in a caravan park for a woman and her dependent mother whose house was uninhabitable after its front was rammed by a car and a shared Backpacker Hostel room  for two men evicted and left homeless. The Circle also covered fence repairs where the African tenant,  although not responsible for the damage, was justifiably afraid it would be used as an excuse to evict her family.

Help with car costs enabled a woman and her small daughter to visit daddy, transferred to detention in Australia from Manus Island just before his child’s second birthday:  Eighteen months later he has been released to live with his family in Community Detention. Pictures are in previous updates. Their first Christmas together will be joyful.

Two large payments resulted from misunderstanding of the SA Health Care system; all were fines for non-payment of ambulance call outs by people not insured. This issue has been addressed by the Case managers involved. A  third request is being queried as it involves a family recently relocated from Afghanistan by the Australian Government.

As the effects of Covid 19 continue, support for two families has become ongoing, covering rent, utilities, household needs, food costs and medical expenses, as the stresses of their situation take toll.

Financially, 45% of the Circle’s income came from 59 individual donors – an indication of their commitment and compassion, in some cases for 20 years. The Circle also received a bequest from the estate of Anne Roman, a donation from the Board of STTARS and succeeded in obtaining a $5,000 Grant from Catholic Church Insurances. Remaining funds came from other Circles, especially Willunga and Blackwood/Hills. During the 2019/2021 Financial Year the Circle spent over $57,000 – a monumental amount representative of the great need for assistance from asylum seekers and refugees left with little or no Government  support.

The 110 Team is  enormously grateful to all who have supported this work. Without you, nothing would happen. Best wishes for the Christmas and holiday Season. Thank you all!

Tricia Dundon, Anne Williams, David Hoffman, Alexander Reilly, the 110 Team