The Red Cross will provide emergency relief support for people on temporary visas impacted by COVID-19.
The ACT Government have opened a COVID-19 Stimulus Rapid Response Grants Program to support eligible organisations adopt business model changes in response to COVID-19.
Conflict Resolution Service (CRS) providing mediation for residential tenants and landlords is now open. Registration for the residential tenancy mediation and can be made via the CRS website at crs.org.au. CRS can be contacted by phone on 02 6189 0590.
ACT Government have released fact sheets on key COVID-19 issues, including:
- Rapid Response Fund (pdf)
- Client Support Fund (pdf)
- Accommodation Support Fund (pdf)
- Domestic and Family Violence Support Fund (pdf)
- Other supports available (pdf), including:
- Canberra Relief Network
- Rent relief for properties under the Housing Asset Assistance Program
- Bank payment to public housing tenants
- Distribution of PPE
- Telstra Top-Up Program.
ACTCOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
ACTCOSS have been advocating on behalf of community organisations during this COVID-19 pandemic period through actions, including:
- Meeting with Minister Stephen-Smith to call for clear guidelines to enable recipients of disability services to access personal protective equipment (PPE) and support for community sector organisations in their return to face-to-face service delivery following relaxation of social distancing rules.
- Letter to Minister Orr and Minister Ramsay (pdf) on support for older CALD Canberrans in aged care, and tackling racism against aged care workers.
- Email to Unions ACT (pdf) highlighting racism against aged workers in care settings.
- Media release by ACTCOSS and disability peak bodies calling for urgent action to ensure people with disabilities and carers have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Media release by ACTCOSS and Canberra Multicultural Community Forum (CMCF) supporting Minister Steel’s call for a national anti-racism strategy as coronavirus-racism increases.
Canberra Relief Network - CRN
The Canberra Relief Network or CRN is the ACT Government’s response to the sudden and overwhelming demand for food and non-perishable household essentials item that is occurring and is expected to increase as a direct result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Please direct eligible clients to contact the call centre on 1800 43 11 33 or 02 5104 9599 or go online at www.canberrarelief.com.au
Disability Information Helpline - 1800 643 787: Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-7pm. The Australian Government has established a Disability Information Helpline. The helpline is not available on national public holidays.
ACT Government Updates
Community Services Directorate (CSD) Updates
One-off grants for non-government organisations: A COVID-19 stimulus rapid response grant round has been launched. Check CSD’s Grant website or log into CSD’s grant management portal for a Community Services Directory grants currently open. A full list of all ACT Government Grants is also available.
How to contact CSD: The ACT Community Services Directorate has set up a new branch structure to respond to the COVID-19 situation. Outside of existing engagement, networks or contacts with relationship managers, you can contact CSD via CSD’s [email protected] inbox. Organisations can send their COVID-19 queries to this email if they need advice or have any questions.
Other ACT Government Updates
- COVID-19 advice for people with disability.
- Staged return to on-campus learning in ACT public schools (7 May 2020).
- $1.7 million to support a range of NGOs in in the health sector (6 May 2020).
- $4.5 million in additional funding for mental health services (6 May 2020).
- $3 million in funding to provide support for people facing homelessness, domestic and family violence (20 April 2020).
Community Sector Updates
- The COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund is offering grants to support strategic grassroots advocacy.
- Racism amid COVID-19: invitation by the ABC to share your story.
- Submissions to the select committee on the COVID-19 response are ongoing and still being accepted. Individuals and organisations are still able to make a submission.
- ACT Corrective Services weekly update from the Commissioner (pdf) (8 May 2020).
- Better Renting: 5-minute survey to gather stories to support advocacy for a fair response for renters during this period.
- Access Canberra service centres are operating with reduced hours, staff and with limits on the number of customers allowed in the centre at any one time, to keep people safe. Access Canberra has introduced a ‘quiet time’ in the service centres, from 9am to 11am each weekday, to provide assistance to people who: have English as a second language; have no access to online services; are vulnerable Canberrans; and emergency services workers. Access Canberra strongly encourages the public to contact them prior to attending a Service Centre, on 13 22 81.
- COVID-19 and the 2020 ACT Election
- Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation is providing support to community members that are struggling. You don’t have to be a client of Gugan Gulwan – this is inclusive of kinship carers and foster carers. Anyone who is feeling isolated and doesn’t know who or where to turn for help, call Gugan Gulwan on 02 6296 8900.
- Legal Aid ACT’s Response to Corona-virus (COVID-19) information is available on its website.
- Status of all Woden Community Service services during COVID-19.
- Domestic Violence Crisis Centre have launched a dedicated SMS number, 0421 268 492, which will enable people without data or with communication barriers to make contact.
- YWCA Canberra Lanyon Food Hub now open on Tuesday or Thursday 9.30am-2pm.
- The Council of the Ageing (COTA) remains open at its Hughes location. Please call COTA on 02 6282 3777 to apply for your ACT Seniors Card.
- COTA Australia, National Seniors Australia, Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and Dementia Australia’s COVID-19 hotline is now live to assist with queries for older people - 1800 171 866.
- ACT Government and Argyle Housing launch a Winter Lodge for men sleeping rough during winter months.
- Palliative Care ACT (PC ACT) is providing a range of services to help palliative patients and their carers who are isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic – for more information on these initiatives contact Palliative Care ACT on 02 6255 5771:
- Isolation relief: trained PC ACT volunteers are helping patients access new and advanced technology, to link them with family and friends who might not be able to visit or are interstate, or overseas.
- Palliative support call out service: during the pandemic PC ACT volunteers are willing to be with clients who don’t have their friends and family close by when they are at the end of their life, any time of day or night.
- Palliative Care Tele-Help: PC ACT’s tele-help service has been extended and is available from 8am to 8pm, daily. We have a range of information about Canberra-based palliative care support options, advance care planning, and grief and bereavement services.
- Moments in Time: this program complements PC ACT’s popular Life Stories program, giving clients the opportunity to reflect on a precious memory and have it professionally recorded. The recording is then prepared for the client to share with their family and friends.
Financial & Emergency Relief
- Volunteering Australia: Free Meal, Emergency Relief and Accommodation Guide – updated 8 May 2020
- Volunteering Australia: ACT Legal Services Guide – updated 9 April 2020
- Volunteering Australia: Complaints Resolution Info Guide – updated 9 April 2020
- Care Inc’s services are running at full capacity to ensure everyone has access to the vital support we offer:
- Financial counselling services for people experiencing financial difficulty. Call 1800 007 007 or email [email protected]
- The Consumer Law Centre: for legal advice around credit and debt, consumer and fair trading, and insurance. Call 02 6143 0044 or email [email protected]
- Microfinance: No interest loans programs, including a specific program for people who have experienced and left domestic violence. Call 02 6257 1788 or email [email protected]
- Education: for financial capability webinars or to access the $100 Energy Support Voucher program. Call Care’s education team on 0490 008 701 or email [email protected]
- The National Debt Helpline is an NFP service that helps people in Australia tackle their debt problems through free financial counselling.
- YWCA Canberra has funding available to support community members experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This support is available to people in the ACT and surrounding region (including Queanbeyan, Yass, Bungendore, Braidwood, Cooma, Murrumbateman) experiencing financial hardship. Support types available include:
- Utility bills assistance
- Healthcare support for appointments or scripts
- Lanyon food parcels available Tuesday & Thursday 9.30am-2pm.
- Transport expenses
- Vouchers for essential household items and clothing
- Accommodation assistance (rental support or temporary accommodation)
- Education and training expenses assistance.
- Eligibility criteria apply. Please contact YWCA Canberra’s Civic office on 02 6185 2000 or [email protected] or Mura Lanyon Youth and Community Centre on 02 6185 2090 or [email protected].
- Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s COVID Kindness project can connect people with services that can support their clients who live in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services include collecting food, medication and other supplies, ideas for activities for fitness or for children, any concerns about friends, family or neighbours, a friendly chat about any worries or concerns. Email [email protected] or phone 1300 735 025 (select Option 2 for COVID support).
- The Councils of Social Service (COSS) Network organised an NFP & charity focused webinar on the applicability and eligibility for JobKeeper payments (including the new criteria) – access the JobKeeper webinar recording, presentation slides (pdf) and FAQ summary (pdf).
- RSM COVID-19 Financial Reporting resources:
- Youth Action and Yfoundation resources on COVID-19 for young people
- Domestic Violence Crisis Service have resources suitable for people impacted by violence and the services supporting them during COVID-19:
- Ways to enhance safety at home during COVID-19
- Supporting someone
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Social media tiles pitched at all members of our community, including specific tiles pitched at members from the LGBTIQA+ communities, elder community, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, disability community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and people who use violence. If you wish to obtain some of these tiles to share within your networks, please email [email protected] to obtain them.
- The Women’s Services Network (WESNET) has created a comprehensive resources page for DFV agencies wanting to use technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Hays Australia: 2-page guide to maintaining your team’s wellbeing when working remotely.
- Social Ventures Australia has created 7-steps to support social enterprises during COVID-19.
- Group of Eight universities (Go8) has developed a comprehensive report charting a Roadmap to Recovery following COVID-19.
- Department of Health Protecting Older Australians Update (pdf), 2 May 2020
- Carers ACT resource for decision-making during a crisis (pdf)
- Australian Human Rights Commission fact sheet on Complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act in 64 different languages and when it can be used to get fair treatment in areas of public life.
- Cenrelink has translated information and a Multilingual Phone Service. To speak with a skilled bilingual service officer, call 131 202, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
- Community Services #1 Tips to support your higher schooler: Read the latest blog post from the Wellbeing Hub Manager Amalia Fawcett who has asked school staff and students for their top tips to support your high schooler to cope during COVID-19.
- Charter of Aged Care Rights – multiple languages.