Even before the pandemic hit, we have a problem with struggling families in our Region. However COVID19 has definitely made things worse.
There has been a 20% increase in family violence in Greater Geelong. This was during the 12 month period to September 2020. In addition there has been a 33% increase in breaches of family violence orders; a 28% increase in demand for emergency accommodation for victims of family violence; and a 45% increase for other short term emergency accommodation demand.
Also adversely affecting local families are increased losses to gambling machines in Greater Geelong. These exceed $110 million pa, one of the highest levels in Victoria.
Illicit drug use is also on the increase. GHB use and harm levels have doubled during the pandemic lockdowns. Alcohol continues to be our number one drug of concern in our region, closely followed by cannabis.
There are many agencies helping in this area and we as a Foundation are supporting them with targeted grants as part of our $1 million grants allocation this year. Information regarding the 2021/22 grant recipients can be found here.
With your help through donations and gifts in wills we can make a difference.