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An aid agency aimed at helping those under financial stress will spend a day a week in Bright to meet rising demand.

VincentCare already has a presence in Myrtleford and Mt Beauty but will now set up shop in the upper Ovens Valley each Thursday.

Chief executive John Blewonski said the stereotype of those under financial stress was being blown away by the cost of living.

"Our role is advocating for those suffering from hardship and disadvantage - finding a way for them to meet the financial demands of modern day life," he said.

"Traditionally we have been involved with those on welfare, the homeless.

"But these days with rising mortgages and the cost of utilities our clientele is from a far broader spectrum.

"You don't have to be disadvantaged to fall under financial pressure - at this time of the year a big power bill or simply the mortgage or rent can be enough to tip the scales.

'That's where we can help - whether that be through financial assistance packages or more broadly being able to help people budget."

VincentCare is a state-wide emergency relief provider whose financial outreach and emergency relief service is partly funded by the Federal Government.

The charity is also heavily involved in providing emergency housing to the homeless or those at risk of being homeless.

Mr Blewonski said having a physical presence in Bright was a major step forward.

"The service has always been available to people in Bright but from this week we will have someone on the ground each Thursday," he said.

"The information that we have is that there is a demand that isn't being met at present.

"Our counsellor will do an assessment of each case and then try to find a solution - whether that be direct financial assistance or some other form of help."

To book an appointment with VincentCare in Bright phone (03) 5822 2289.


The Alpine Observer/Myrtleford Times

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