COVID-19 Support in Canberra/Goulburn

Over the lockdown period, Vinnies will continue 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 is Vinnies providing assistance during the lockdown period?

Vinnies continues to provide essential support to those in crisis. Some Vinnies services have been expanded to better assist vulnerable members of our community while many others have been modified to comply with the latest health and safety restrictions in the  ACT and NSW.

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.

How can I access emergency food relief?

The ACT Government has partnered with VolunteeringACT and the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) to provide emergency food relief for Canberrans most in need during this lockdown.  

ACT residents can call VolunteeringACT on 1800 43 11 33 to access groceries. 

Callers are linked with a staff member from Volunteering ACT who places an order on their behalf, and then a member of the ACT Emergency Services Agency will collect and deliver the order. 

Vinnies shops

Due to the evolving COVID-19 public health restrictions across the Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn region, please note the following information regarding Vinnies shops.

 

Vinnies Shops in the ACT

Vinnies Shops in the Canberra/Goulburn region will be open from Friday, 22nd of October.

While our shops have been closed to the public, we have continued to provide assistance to people all over our region through our programs and services.

Please note:

  • Vinnies Narrabundah will open on Saturday, due to renovations.
  • The Mitchell Vinnies Warehouse will only be open to receive donations. The shop will relocate to 32 Hoskins St (Old Salvos building) in early November.
  • If you have any bulk donations, please take them to the Vinnies Warehouse in Mitchell.

Please be mindful of the health guidlines while shopping by following the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.

 

Vinnies Shops in NSW 

All Vinnies Shops in NSW are OPEN for trading/shopping AND accepting product donations.

Please be mindful of the area's health guidlines while shopping.

 

Please observe the following mandatory health and safety guidelines when shopping at or dropping off donations at our stores. 

MANDATORY SHOP VISITOR GUIDELINES:

  • Under current NSW law, all shop visitors must be wearing a face mask  
  • Please scan/check-in using the QR code poster upon entry 
  • Please sanitise hands upon entry. 
  • Please do not enter the shop if you are unwell. 
  • Please keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others in the shop. 
  • Use contactless payments where possible. 

 

Should you have any questions regarding Vinnies shops in the Canberra/Goulburn region, please contact 13 18 12 (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm) 

Further updates on our shops will be provided via our Vinnies C/G Facebook page and website.

Vinnies Click and Support Service for Material Assistance

Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn have extended an offer of FREE material assistance (clothing and other goods) to community support organisations and government agencies in the Canberra/Goulburn region. This will be done through the Vinnies Emergency Relief Helpline (13 18 12), using a contactless Click and Collect service. 

The service is an expansion to support that currently takes place via Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn’s 46 local member-based volunteer groups, together with outreach programs such as Night Patrol and Street to Home which supply clothing and other material aid to individuals who are suffering hardship.  

Community sector organisations and agencies can obtain merchandise ranging from clothing to bedding and household items for their vulnerable clients and pick these up by appointment from a local Vinnies shop. 

In order to access this service, please follow the 3 steps below: 

1. Call the Vinnies Helpline on 13 18 12 (Mon-Fri 9am-3.30pm) to speak to a representative about the needs of your client. 

2. Vinnies Helpline representatives will send you a Vinnies order form via email to complete, scan and send back.  

3. You will be contacted by a local Vinnies Shop Manager to organise a time to pick up your order. 

Please note the following:  

1. This service is only available to fulfill requests for material assistance referred though our Vinnies Helpline by community partners and agencies in the Canberra/Goulburn region.  

2. This is a free service and stock is dependant on what is available at designated Vinnies centres. 

3. Due to current health restrictions, Vinnies Shops are not open for trading or to accept donations. All deliveries and pick-ups of merchandise will be contactless and need to be collected from outside the store.  

Please contact our Helpline team on 13 18 12 or email mailto:conferences.cg@vinnies.org.au if you are an organisation that would like to use this service. 

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.