The Craigieburn Salvation Army hopes its new outreach van will help ease the strain on families in need.

The Connect Outreach Van will set up in prominent locations around Hume on Friday and Saturday nights, offering anyone in need to make ends meet a meal and someone to chat with.

The van’s volunteers will also be able to direct people to support services such as drug and alcohol counsellors, family violence support workers and welfare agencies.

Salvation Army Captain Peter Brookshaw hopes the van will encourage struggling families to seek help.

“There is a real problem with mortgage stress in the outer north,” he said. “All of a sudden, we are seeing people, who maybe aren’t your typical homeless person, looking for help.

“These families had two jobs, but one person lost their job and now they are struggling.

“If something goes wrong for them, then they are struggling and they might not know where to ask for help.”

Mr Brookshaw said more than 20 people had already volunteered to staff the van.

The van’s locations will be announced on

The Salvation Army will sell food to raise funds at the Broadmeadows Street Festival on Sunday, April 8, and the Craigieburn Anzac Day service.