Uniting Vic.Tas today welcomed a $490,000 funding boost from the Victorian Government which will provide more meals and support for vulnerable people in Prahran and surrounding areas.
The Victorian Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers and Minister for Child Protection and Family Services, the Hon Anthony Carbines made the announcement during a visit to Uniting Prahran today with the Upper House member for Southern Metro, Nina Taylor.
Uniting Vic. Tas CEO, Bronwyn Pike said the funding would allow the service to provide more than 8,000 extra meals a year to people struggling to access food relief and emergency relief services.
“During the pandemic, the demand for our emergency relief services at Prahran increased by around 80 per cent,” she said.
“We started delivering food packages to people who were isolated in the community and experiencing more complex health issues. Since then, more and more people have come to rely on this form of support.
“This funding will allow us to expand our mobile food deliveries by purchasing two refrigerated vans, and recruit a dedicated worker who can work with our other volunteers.”
Ms Pike said the additional funding would also be used to employ a mental health duty worker to better assist people who were coming to the centre with complex needs.
“We know people have been really struggling with the rising costs of living and putting food on the table, but at the same time, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people presenting to us with complex health and psychosocial needs,” she said.
“By having a mental health worker available at the centre, we can work with people experiencing crisis due to homelessness, family violence, alcohol and other drugs or other complex problems.
“Our service at Prahran also provides specialist employment services, an Orange Door family violence support service and targeted programs for those experiencing long term mental health issues.
“Part of the funding will be used to provide a much-needed facelift to our foyer so we can direct people to the appropriate service and provide a safe and welcoming environment with clear signage for our Aboriginal and LGBTIQ+ CALD communities.