HELP!…. it’s 5pm on a Friday

5pm on a FridayI want to paint you a picture. It is 5PM on a cold Friday in the middle of winter.  A single mother of four children arrives at MIDLAS desperate for assistance. She has been evicted from her property as she hadn’t paid her rent.  She is weary from spending her day trying to get assistance from agencies in the hope that she won’t have to spend the weekend with her four children in the car… again.

After a hectic week the MIDLAS advocate stays to listen to her story. But, what can be done for her? It is 5PM on a Friday afternoon.

The service provided by Midland Information, Debt & Legal Advocacy Service Inc (MIDLAS) at 5pm last Friday night included multiple calls to: emergency accommodation facilities, other networks and agencies, government departments, and welfare centres. As you can imagine, they were unable to assist as they were over capacity, were closed for the weekend, or had no scope to assist this family.  It was apparent that there was little that could be done for this family other than provide some emergency relief in the form of food vouchers, give them some blankets and make an appointment for them to return to MIDLAS on Monday so we could continue the search for emergency accommodation.

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