St George’s Emergency Relief (ER) aims to provide a place where people feel respected and non-judged in a welcoming space set amongst natural surrounds.
The ER service has been operating for 8 years with the help of volunteers who are skilled in service delivery at the helm. It started when the Op Shop operated from the Church verandah. The volunteers would meet people who came to shop and would chat about what was going on in their lives. It soon became apparent that there was a need for emergency relief services. People were interviewed at that time in the church kitchen or office if available. An application for funding was successfully submitted to Lotterywest and a small amount, administered by AnglicareWA, was received.
The funding enabled ER to provide, as well as food from our pantry, clothes and other offerings from our on-site Op Shop, vouchers for food and fuel from AnglicareWA, part payment of bills and always a listening ear. That’s perhaps what people needed the most; someone who would just listen to their story. The funding has increased over the years, enabling the service to provide help to an increasing number of people seeking assistance.
Skip forward a few years and thanks to the generosity of the local community, the dedication of the St George’s Anglican Church parishioners and a successful bid to Lotterywest, a fantastic community facility, the St George’s Community Care Family Centre, was built. The centre has become a hub of activity and ER is a central part of it. The office is now located here and through the vision and on-going efforts of many, a Community Care Facilitator, Amanda Prestipino, is employed on a part-time basis.
If you or a family that you know needs help, you can make a confidential appointment to see the facilitator. She is a fully trained and qualified social worker who will assess the individual’s or family’s situation and help provide assistance to meet the immediate crisis. This includes food, clothing, help with part payment of utility bills and petrol vouchers. Resources are limited somewhat and so the aim is to enable clients to help themselves, thereby empowering them.
The case-management approach directs and supports our clients to contact other local services; advocates on their behalf and make applications to Anglicare WA, HUGS & NILS for direct financial assistance.
You may also be eligible for Anglicare Financial Counselling, where you will receive personalised help with budgeting and money difficulties.
Another initiative available to needy families is The Fruit & Veggie Boxes where we use the Coles Secondbite produce to put together on a weekly basis fresh fruit and veggies.
Finally, there is a range of clothing and goods available at our Op Shop for both children and adults where, for a small cost, good quality items can be purchased, with proceeds going back into the community care program.
If you would like to make an appointment please call us on 0424 074 411. We’d also encourage you to tell others about our ER & Community Care service if you feel they may need a helping hand; are experiencing financial hardship or are isolated and could prosper from connecting with others.