Emergency Relief Program Update
The Diversitat Emergency Relief Program has changed in 2020.
The three year reoccurring funding for the program was cut by the Federal Government in October 2019 and then extended, temporarily, until December 2019.
As an Emergency Relief Program, we are desperate to keep supporting the vulnerable in our community. There are many members of our local community who do not have enough finances to cover everyday costs. Due to the high costs of rents and utilities, there is often not enough money left for food.
While our Emergency Relief service was funded as a crisis response we also provided an invaluable service to clients in relation to information provision, advocacy, counselling and linkages to other services in the local community often referring those in need to other support services such as Family Violence, Family Support, Mental Health, Housing, Parenting and Disability services. This is empowering for our clients and for the wider Geelong community. For some clients we are the only positive connection they have to the community and sometimes, just listening, is the main service we can provide.
We have been able to keep the program running at a bare minimum, though generous donations. The current program operation is:
• Wednesday mornings, between 11am-2pm, there is a drop in crisis food parcel service at the Diveristat Hub. No appointments are necessary, clients just need to register with reception on arrival.
• Limited ER appointments are available on a Tuesday; clients needs to call to book on a Monday.
No other community welfare agency specialising in delivering services to CALD Communities exists in the Barwon region. The government is planning to increase and encourage settlement of Asylum Seekers and Refugees into the Geelong region in the near future.
Diveristat has the knowledge and networks to support these people but also requires the resources to meet their needs. An Emergency Relief Program providing food, rent and bill support and the capacity to link to the wider service sector are the key foundations for their initial settlement needs.
We are hoping that the community will support Diveristat in the provision of our Emergency Relief service to those in need within our local community.