Ensuring the Sustainability of Our Special Works: The Vinnies Services Budget
The Directorate called Vinnies Services comprises our Housing and Homelessness; Health; and Disability and Inclusion portfolios. Services like Freeman House in Armidale, the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Sydney, and Castlereagh Industries in Coonamble, all come under Vinnies Services. Across the state, there are about 55 individual services or special works that sit within Vinnies Services and in FY2021-22 they assisted 10,388 people. In 2023, the overall budget for Vinnies Services will be similar what it was in 2022, with a small net deficit of $5.9 million and income accounting for about 95% of expenses.
Community development work like the Bushfire Community Development Program also sits within Vinnies Services and in 2022, there was $1 million in the Vinnies Services budget for community development work related to the Bushfire Recovery Program. The 2023 budget includes $1.4 million for the continuation of this program, funded by donations from the public we received in prior financial years. Fire affected communities have told us how much they appreciate us being there for the long haul, not just when they are making headlines in the daily papers.
Employee costs have increased but are mostly externally funded. The main drivers of the increase are workers compensation costs, superannuation contributions, and an uplift in salaries. The high levels of external funding of salaries in Vinnies Services means that more of the money we raise goes directly to the people we serve.
We have also found ways to contribute to better organisational financial sustainability. The adoption of a new funding model for Frederic House (Waterloo) in October 2022, for example, will result in an additional $2.7 million in revenue and $1.2 million in costs, delivering a net benefit of around $1.5 million.