UnitingCare Geelong Grovedale Emergency Relief Agency

the report below relates to previous year at South Geelong prior to our move to the new Grovedale location:

The unfortunate aspect of welfare in the current climate is that it continues to be ever present in our lives. South Geelong this year experienced high levels of assistance required with 3846 visits recorded. Even more alarming is the growth in new people requiring our assistance. Over the past 12 months 445 new clients were recorded on the data base. 

Over the 12 months people have been able to access our service for food relief, material assistance, specialist services such as housing, BillAssist, counselling both financial and spiritual.  A major emphasis has been maintaining or establishing people’s housing. Workers have advocated for clients to either stay in their homes or establish new ones. 

Through the Linkage Outreach Worker role in the past two years our agency has been able to establish itself as a housing hub for those people experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. Over these two years our service has housed 28 family units and countless more placed on segmented housing with the Office of Housing.   

Referrals are made to various housing authorities in conjunction with these applications. UnitingCare due to its frequency of applications has been given a housing number traditionally given only to those who receive housing funding. UnitingCare receive no housing funding and have identified this as a gap in the housing system and adapted our service to address this for our clients. 

Our service could not be successful without the valued volunteers we have on the shop floor delivering high standards of professionalism and empathy for the people they assist.

Those requiring assistance from the front door to the back door receive the upmost respect.  

The sorting room is another area who are the quiet achievers organising the good from the bad and recycling.  

Our staff and volunteers continue to deliver, giving of themselves to achieve great outcomes for clients and others in the workplace. Our workforce will move forward with a focus on assisting presenting emergencies at a higher level previously experienced.  

The Agency has invested and grown upon already existing strengths to better deal with people in real emergency situations they find hard to navigate out of without intense assistance.  With a revised approach we can support our existing clients that do it tough each and every week and provide greater resources to those really struggling with life.

Rob O’Neil

Managing Emergency Relief Services