Mission Australia’s new Christmas appeal highlights the pressures faced by Australia’s hidden homeless, people who are pushed into homelessness through no fault of their own, with a core message that every Australian should have a safe home.
The fundraising campaign asks the community to donate to Mission Australia so the charity can support vulnerable individuals and families in their hour of need and help them to find a safe, secure home.
More than 116,000 people in Australia will be homeless this Christmas and many are teetering on the edge of homelessness in severe rental stress during the recession. Hundreds of thousands of Australians are out of work and struggling to make ends meet following a year of challenges, including drought, bushfires, a pandemic and a recession. Mission Australia’s new appeal acknowledges that this Christmas will be an anxious time for many.
Created with MindJam and Customedia, the campaign highlights these very real challenges faced by the people Mission Australia serves. The appeal features a poignant story of a mother, Sally* and her young son, Caleb* who escape domestic violence with no choice but to sleep in their car in an industrial estate.
The campaign includes a direct mail appeal and will feature as out of home, digital, social and radio advertisements until Christmas Eve, 24 December 2020. The mother and son feature across a range of platforms with key quotes including: “Mum, will Dad find us here?”, “Home is not safe for us anymore” and “How will Santa find us if we can’t go home?”.
The advertisements reveal to the audience that Australia’s ‘hidden homeless’ crisis is growing and invites them to look a little closer at the issue. The extent of the problem is largely unseen, given most of the 116,000 people experiencing homelessness don’t sleep rough on the streets. They are hidden from public view, sleeping in places like a car, or in a refuge, or couch surfing with friends.
As a charity focussed on ending homelessness and ensuring people and communities in need can thrive, Mission Australia’s aim in the lead up to Christmas and during the pandemic recovery is to ensure the provision of essential support for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.
Mission Australia’s General Manager, Fundraising and Marketing, Elvira Lodewick said the fundraising campaign highlights the urgent need for people to donate to provide vital support and safe homes to those who are struggling.
“The unrelenting pressures people have faced over the past year and continue to face have been on all of our hearts and minds. In a country that believes in a ‘fair go’, every Australian should have a safe and secure place to call home, which is why this is a key theme in our new Christmas appeal.
“Far too many people are homeless or are now at increased risk of becoming homeless this festive season and into the new year due to the challenges of 2020 – skyrocketing unemployment, unacceptable levels of poverty, a severe shortage of social homes, mental health concerns, and lack of a permanent increase to income support.
“There is also an ongoing urgent need to provide support and safe homes for people escaping domestic violence, like Sally* and Caleb*, so they’re not pushed into homelessness when leaving violent situations. This is especially urgent considering COVID-19 has caused an increase in the frequency and severity of domestic and family violence.
“Mission Australia’s staff, volunteers and supporters will continue to rise to the challenges our nation faces. We remain committed to creating hope and opportunity for vulnerable people, particularly during this time of increased need.
“We hope people see our Christmas campaign and feel moved to donate to help their fellow Australians who are facing increased stress and uncertainty and are struggling to keep themselves and their families safe, well and housed.
“We are grateful for all contributions. Every donation goes towards ensuring our frontline staff can safely provide quality support to people in need, while also providing compassion and care for vulnerable people this Christmas and into the new year,” said Ms Lodewick.
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