Good Shepherd Microfinance has received the go-ahead for ‘Taking the Stress Out of Managing Money’ - a collaborative place based project to build community capacity to address the needs of people in financial stress in Dandenong.
The recipients of the Legal Services Board 2012 Project Grants round were announced late last year, and our joint application with Hanover Welfare Services and Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) was amongst the successful projects, being awarded a budget of $55,000 for 10 months.
This collaborative project between the three organisations targets low income families in financial stress in the City of Greater Dandenong - Melbourne’s most disadvantaged municipality area according to the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage - with a particular focus on people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The City of Greater Dandenong has extremely high rates of housing stress, unemployment and gambling losses, plus very low incomes and very poor educational outcomes for young people. Participants in this project will be consumers at Hanover's Crisis Centre Dandenong and the Good Money Community Finance Hub.
The purpose of the project is to tackle the increasing problem of low income consumers lapsing into crisis as a result of their short term lending experiences. The Project will use a multi pronged approach including improving consumer access to legal and advocacy services, providing training to front line staff, and developing a solid evidence base to influence regulatory reform to protect vulnerable consumers.
The grant will fund a part time Project Coordinator based at Hanover, and contribute towards CALC’s education and training costs and printing and publishing brochures and posters. Ultimately, our project will build community capacity in Dandenong to address the needs of people in financial stress.