Vinnies SA Covid-19 Response

A Message to our Community
from CEO Louise Miller Frost

The past few months have been full of uncertainty due to the impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19). We are thinking of all those who have been affected by the crisis and we would like to express our sincere thanks to the incredible efforts of those delivering essential services, including the staff, volunteers and members at Vinnies.

It is uncharted territory for all of us, and at Vinnies we are following the advice of the Australian government and the Chief Medical Officer, in order to keep the people we assist, and our volunteers and employees, safe. At this time we have asked volunteers who are aged 70+ and/or who have underlying health conditions to step away from their public facing role. 

Often, people who reach out to Vinnies for assistance have poorer health status, making them more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19. In addition, they are less likely to have strong networks that can support them in times of need, as well as living in insecure accommodation or having no permanent accommodation at all. Now, they need Vinnies more than ever. And we are here for them.

With the measures being introduced by Government (and which are changing daily) regarding safe distancing and gatherings, we have modified how we deliver some of our services.

This includes:

  • Converting the Fred’s Van meal service to a ‘take away’ model, minimising person to person contact. Some services have been interrupted due to lack of venue availability – click here for a current timetable of services
  • Replacing in-home visits, as part of the Vinnies Assistance Visit service, with the delivery food parcels and/or vouchers and offering financial assistance by way of telephone assessment
  • Ceasing face to face interviews at our Migrant & Refugee Centre, but continuing to provide financial assistance to current clients.

At the end of March we closed our network of Vinnies shops across South Australia due to a combination of factors including volunteer unavailability, declining foot traffic and to role model the importance of staying at home. We know they are more than a retail outlet for many, being a source of community for volunteers and customers alike.  

The good news is, our shops have commenced on the road to recovery, with the Vinnies Hawthorn and Vinnies Kidman Park shops re-opening on 11 and 18 May respectively. Please check HERE for updates regarding other shops.

It is ‘business as usual’ at our men’s and women’s crisis centres, with the addition of  strengthened existing hygiene practices, and the implementation of safe distancing in common areas such as dining rooms. Most guests have chosen to self-isolate in their rooms.

During this incredibly stressful time it is critical that we come together as a community (while practicing social distancing!) to support each other. Check on your neighbours, older people, and those you know who may have few networks, stay home as much as possible, and follow the recommended guidelines so that we can all get through this crisis together.

If you need assistance, please call Vinnies on 13 18 12.

Click here to access the latest information about the Coronavirus crisis from the Australian Government.