Anglicare will expedite its bushfire recovery efforts thanks to almost $3.5 million of funding from the state government.
The $3.47m grant will give affected communities on the South Coast and in the Snowy Mountains certainty of service deliver, and will allow Anglicare to launch new initiatives include a mobile outreach program for people living in remote areas.
Anglicare's CEO, Jeremy Halcrow, said the grant would be disbursed over the next two years and would be welcome relief for communities still in recovery.
"It's reassuring knowing services and connections established by our bushfire recovery coordinators can continue," she said.
"Data from the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience shows us that recovery from such a crisis can even take up to five or six years.
"This funding addresses potential service gaps by allowing our teams to provide holistic, locally managed support."
Carlin Stanford, Anglicare's Bushfire Recovery Coordinator in Cobargo, has been employed in her role since March 2020 and works from an office set up near the centre of town.
"As a local myself I have some understanding of the trauma families have gone through," she said.
"We're so grateful to receive this additional funding. Many people are emotionally and physically drained, and some are experiencing their second winter in temporary accommodation, so this news is a breath of hope."
An Anglicare spokesperson said the organisation had "already assisted more than 2000 people across the region in the 18 months since the fires by providing a variety of services including material and financial aid, financial counselling, referrals, and local hub-based support".
"Funding will allow these services to continue and see new programs established offering physical, mental, and emotional support," the spokesperson said.
"Data from Anglicare showed 49 per cent of clients reported COVID had impact their ability to recover, and 50 per cent stated the fires had an ongoing impact on their employment.
"91 per cent also found Anglicare's assistance had been positive for their overall recovery."