Project Description

Emergency Relief

At Western Port Community Support we are committed to providing access to Emergency Relief (food and material aid) to those who otherwise may go without.

All clients who reside within the agency catchment area who request Emergency Relief are interviewed by a trained volunteer Community Support Worker who will discuss their situation and assess their needs. All discussions we have with you and the information that you provide are confidential.

What Can Be Provided?

Every client has different needs and support is provided according to the individuals need as well as what we have available.


We can provide short term assistance through the provision of:

  • Food vouchers or parcels

  • Fresh fruit and vegetable parcels

  • Transport assistance

  • Assistance with the cost of essential prescription PBS medications

  • Clothing

  • Some household goods such as beds and other essential items

  • Phonecards

  • Swags and toiletries for homeless


To access this support please attend in person and one of our friendly trained volunteers will be able to assist you.

Housing &
Homelessness program

The Housing and Homelessness Program has been established to assist those clients who are either homeless or in acute housing crisis. Clients are able to work with our trained Housing Caseworker who will provide intensive support, either short term or long term, to help secure and/or maintain stable and affordable housing.

The program assists with the provision of housing support by way of:

  • Rent in advance

  • Rent in arrears

  • All housing related advocacy

  • Bond loan advocacy

  • Outreach support

The program also assists with material aid such as:

  • Swags

  • Meal vouchers

  • Toiletries

  • Food assistance

  • Household items

To access this support please attend in person and one of our housing and support case worker will be able to assist you.

Family Support Program

Our Family Support Caseworker is employed to support members of the community requiring more intensive ongoing assistance. Casework involves the coordination of care through the identification of services to assist the needs of the individual.

How can our caseworkers help?

  • Provide more specialised supports to clients presenting with more complex needs

  • Provide opportunities for clients to express themselves openly and honestly in a professional and confidential setting

  • Work extensively and more closely with clients

  • Identify and discuss strategies to empower and strengthen client resolve

  • Work extensively and more closely with clients

  • Provide practical advice and strategies around financial hardship, mental health, isolation, addictions, employment, housing and behaviour management

To access this support please attend in person and one of our family support case worker will be able to assist you.

Information & Advocacy Support

Our volunteer Community Support Workers are able to advocate for community members who struggle to make their needs known to other community agencies. If you are having difficulty dealing with a government agency, utilities company or other service provider, we may be able to assist by clarifying the situation and seeking a resolution.

To access this support please attend in person and one of our friendly trained volunteers will be able to assist you.

Bill assistance

If you have an outstanding utility account you are struggling to pay and/or you are facing disconnection our service may be able to assist you with part payment and advocate on your behalf to establish an affordable payment plan with your provider. We also have a dedicated trained Energy Assistance Mentor who is available to work through any of your energy concerns and discuss alternative more affordable energy plans on offer. This is by appointment only.

Requirements to access assistance:

  • Reside in the Westernport agency catchment service area

  • The bill must be in your name

Anyone wishing to access this support should contact the centre on 5979 2762 to arrange an appointment.

Education Assistance Program

Every year Western Port Community Support provides support to those parents struggling with the expenses associated with the return to school in February.


Our Education Assistance program can assist parents with the cost of:

  • Uniforms

  • Technology

  • Text books

  • Stationary

  • Shoes

  • Other essential education related items

The provision is based upon an assessment with one of our trained Community Support Workers who will discuss the support available and provide some money saving ideas to help reduce the overall expenses.

Our program operates from October through to February each year and is appointment based. Please phone 5979 2762 or present in person to make an appointment.

NILS

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) is available to anyone on an income less than $45,000 per annum for singles or $60,000 for couples.


Loans are available for the following purchases:

  • Household appliances or furniture

  • Education expenses

  • Health related expenses

  • Technology

  • Car and home repairs

  • Car related items

  • Various unexpected expenses (upon assessment)

Applications can be made for up to $1500 ($2000 for family violence cases) and are repaid through either Centrelink deductions or via direct debit from bank account over a 12 month period.

To apply for a loan the clients must provide details of their income and expenditure in order for the loan provider to determine they have the capacity to repay the loan.

An information package i s available below or can be collected in person from the Western Port Community Support office.

Once all required information is gathered clients should phone 5979 2762 to arrange an interview with one of our NILS volunteers.

Download NILS Brochure

Financial Counselling

In partnership with Casey North Community Information and Support Service and with funding from DSS, we offer a Financial Counselling Program every Thursday from our centre.

The program aims to help people in personal financial difficulty to address their financial problems, manage their debt and make informed choices about their money in the future.

To access the program clients are advised to either phone or present in person to complete a referral form.

This is an appointment based program and our financial counsellor will phone you to arrange your appointment time.

Tax Help Program

Tax Help is a network of ATO trained and accredited community volunteers who provide a free and confidential service to help people complete their tax returns online using myGov. The program operates from July to October annually.


You are eligible if:

  • Your income does not exceed $60,000

  • You do not work as a contractor

  • You do not run a business

  • You do not have partnership or trust matters

  • You do not sell shares or an investment property

  • You do not own a rental property

  • You do not have capital gains tax

  • You do not receive royalties

  • You do not receive distributions from a trust, other than a managed fund

  • You do not receive foreign income


Anyone wishing to access the program should contact the centre on 5979 2762 to arrange an appointment.

Counselling

Our trained psychologist can offer you free individual counselling for a variety of issues including:

  • Depression

  • Overcoming feelings of low self-esteem

  • Anxiety/Stress

  • Dealing with loss or grief


Our psychologist also offers counselling for couples and families around a range of relationship issues such as:

  • Family conflict

  • Poor communication

  • Seperation

  • Divorce

  • Improving parenting skills


This service is available Wednesday afternoons and is strictly by appointment only.
Please phone Western Port Community Support on 5979 2762 to arrange an appointment.

Christmas Giving Program

Every year Western Port Community Support along with our community partners offer a Christmas Giving Program. The program includes the provision of over 300 food hampers and toys for all children under 13 years old.

The program has been established for over 20 years and assisted by many amazing volunteers, businesses and community partners including Southern Peninsula Food For All, St Vincent De Paul, Woolworths Hastings and Somerville, Woodworkers of Southern Peninsula, Rotary Hastings, Bunnings Hastings, Peninsula Toy Run, Flinders Lions Club, Bluescope Steel, Hastings Chiropractic, Mornington Horse Trainers Association and many local schools and church groups. Applications open in early November and clients can apply in person at the agency. Enquiries phone 5979 2762.

An annual Christmas Day luncheon is also available to any families or individuals who would like to attend. This free community lunch is run entirely by volunteers and is a wonderful day aimed at ensuring nobody need be alone at Christmas.

Bookings can be made at Western Port Community Support from early November.

Volunteering Information Hub

As part of a Mornington Peninsula Shire initiative we offer to all community members the Volunteering Information Hub aimed to promote and encourage volunteering in our local community.

We recognise that volunteering is an essential part of community engagement and many charities, sporting groups and community agencies could not offer services without the support and skills provided by volunteers. Being a volunteer creates the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge, recognition, and a sense of accomplishment, and most importantly the ability to make a difference!

The Hub is supported by the website www.volmornpen.com.au where organisations can list volunteering opportunities and prospective volunteers can search for volunteering vacancies.

Our trained Community Support Workers are available Monday to Friday to assist you with any volunteering related inquires. Please attend in person, no appointments required.

OUR SUPPORTERS