COVID-19 Support in Canberra/Goulburn

Vinnies continues to provide essential services to those experiencing homelessness and hardship in the ACT and surrounding region. Please see details below for information regarding our emergency relief, material assistance services, shops and homelessness and social impact services 

How can I access emergency relief?

If you need assistance, please call our Vinnies Emergency Relief Helpline on 13 18 12.  Our team will put you in contact with the relevant services. 

The majority of Vinnies Services are operating. These programs have been adapted to follow the latest health advice.

Specialised Homelessness & Social Impact Services

Night Patrol  

Vinnies Night Patrol vans continue to operate seven nights a week, with a few changes in compliance with ACT Government health and safety advice. The van will be visiting Dickson Library at 7pm and City Walk at 7.30pm (McDonalds Civic). This service will be operating with COVID-safe measures in place including the use of facemasks, hand sanitation, physical distancing, and the use of the Check-in CBR app, where possible.  

While the van usually provides opportunities for social connection, we need to reduce gatherings at this time, so we kindly ask that once served, to please avoid gathering around the van. To facilitate this, van visits will be for a shorter time (approximately 15 minutes at each stop) so please arrive early at your preferred stop to ensure you don’t miss out. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience during this uncertain time and hope that together we can continue to get our vans out safely each night.  

  

Blue Door  

Blue Door will support our community (Ainslie Village and the surrounding area) via a takeaway meal service commencing at noon each day in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. In addition, other food and material aid will be made available at this time as supplies permit.  

People accessing Blue Door services are reminded to maintain 1.5m physical distance from each other as they access this support. They will also be asked to wear face masks, use hand sanitiser and the Check-in CBR app, if possible.  

 

Street to Home  

Outreach and Case Managers continue to provide support to our community in accordance with ACT Health guidelines. Some face-to-face and transport options may be limited, yet our teams endeavour to support rough sleepers across the ACT. Street to Home teams will continue to conduct outreach activities and provide material aid and support for people experiencing homelessness, in line with COVID-19 guidelines. This includes following physical distancing guidelines, the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitiser.   

 

Samaritan House 

Samaritan House will remain operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, continuing to support and accommodate single men experiencing homelessness within the Canberra region. Residents will be supported with person-centred, strengths-based case management, and mental and medical health support through this time. Staff and residents will be directed and assisted to use hand sanitiser, and a wear face mask within shared areas internally and externally in accordance with current medical advice.  

 

Family Services and Young Parents Program  

Family Services will continue to carry out contactless trauma-informed case management, and support those experiencing homelessness, at this crucial time. Additional support around food provision, essential items, and essential transport to medical appointments will be provided with COVID-19 safety measures in place.  

 

Clemente  

The Clemente Program continues to ensure that all students will be able to access contactless support and connection, in accordance with the latest health advice and COVID-19 guidelines. Students will be assisted to continue their studies remotely and via Zoom. They will also be encouraged to follow the latest health advice and to contact Vinnies for any additional support that is needed. 

 

Compeer  

Volunteers of Compeer will endeavour to keep in touch with their friends via phone, FaceTime and other contactless forms of communication in lieu of the suspension of face-to-face support.  All other routine communication will be sent out as normal, with the Compeer officer and team offering support via phone and/or email with particular focus on those who may be experiencing isolation.  

 

Youth 

All Vinnies Youth Programs have transitioned from face-to-face to virtual mode over the lockdown period and are operating via online platforms. All volunteer training will continue remotely and all assistance and support to program participants will be contactless. 

 

Community Inclusion Program – Oaks Estate 

The Community Inclusion Program (CIP) based at Oaks Estate will be providing essential services including case management via phone and email, as well as welfare checks. The latest ACT Health COVID-19 advice is being communicated to CIP participants. The common room at CIP will be open 8am - 1pm daily for individuals needing essential support service or transport.  COVID-19 safety and tracking measures such as Check-in CBR app, face masks, physical distancing and signage regarding symptom checks before entering the facility have been implemented. The community bus service to transport has ceased until further notice, and participants are advised not to travel into the Queanbeyan (NSW) area.