The Hellenic Initiative Australia (THI) has pledged $35,000 over 12 months to the Emfasis Foundation based in Athens.

This is the third year that THI Australia is supporting the Mobile Support Units (MSU) enabling Emfasis to provide critical outreach services at a time when the economic impact of COVID-19 is increasing fears of a further rise in homelessness in Greece.

READ MORE: The Hellenic Initiative Australia supports Emfasis COVID-19 response assisting the homeless

THI Australia President Nicholas Pappas AM praised the efforts of the Emfasis Foundation and their ongoing ability to adapt to the increasing demand for assistance.

“As well as providing relief items like food and survival kits, Emfasis’ follow-up care has been outstanding and has helped people find temporary housing and employment and receive essential medical care,” Mr Pappas said.

The Mobile Support Units distribute food packages across Athens Photo: Supplied

Emfasis saw a 35 percent increase in people assisted over the last 12 months and also saw a 60 percent increase in food items distributed, primarily due to spike in demand during the COVID-19 lock down period, when many social services were suspended.

Emfasis co-founder Maria Karra says the support from THI Australia is more crucial than ever as the foundation has already received 30 percent more calls from families at risk of being evicted from their homes.

READ MORE: The Hellenic Initiative Australia funds paediatric facilities in Eastern Peloponnese

“We aim to help people reintegrate into society and are particularly pleased that in the past 12 months our
streetworkers have assisted 23 people to find employment and another 25 with temporary accommodation
while we continue to work on longer term solutions,”  Ms Karra said.