Help on the way for Vincent’s most vulnerable

Published: Thursday, 7 May 2020 at 10:51:45 AM

Some of Vincent’s most vulnerable residents are set to get extra help dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic after the City started allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities.

Charities that help seniors and people experiencing domestic abuse or homelessness will be the first to receive money from the Leederville Gardens Trust during the state of emergency.

The City announced it would distribute up to $1 million to Public Benevolent Institutions from the purpose-specific trust earlier this year as part of its response to COVID-19.

As trustee, the City invited locally operating charities to make proposals on how they would use the funding to help vulnerable residents who were experiencing hardship because of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Committee has so far approved the allocation of money to four organisations that help Vincent residents.

Up to $200,000 has been allocated to St Vincent de Paul for the ‘Passages’ youth engagement hub, which provides support and a safe space for young people experiencing homelessness.

UnitingCare West will get $129,000 to extend the current outreach service that supports people who are experiencing homelessness.

The grant will allow the organisation to focus on supporting those who are sleeping rough in Weld Square and Vincent’s inner-city neighbourhoods on a daily basis.

Ruah Community Services will receive $27,800 to support women and children who are fleeing domestic violence.

The funding will be put towards smart phones so women in refuge can stay connected with family and support services, as well as educational resources for their children and bonds for long-term accommodation.

The City has allocated $105,000 to People Who Care, an organisation that helps pensioners with utility and medical bills through the ‘Power a Pensioner’ program.

People Who Care will use $20,000 to provide up to $500 worth of emergency relief in the form of food, essential goods or services to vulnerable people over a 12-month period.

“These organisations are providing urgent relief to the vulnerable people in our community who are most at risk and who need our help more than ever,” said Mayor Emma Cole.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made life even harder for those who were already experiencing hardship.

“This funding will help people who don’t have a roof over their heads, seniors who are struggling to make ends meet and women and children who are escaping violent homes – which has increased during this challenging time.

“This trust fund is a vital resource and we are so grateful to be able to help these charities during this time of great need.”

The City is working with YMCA HQ on a proposal to provide regular case management for Vincent youth.

The program would help young people with training opportunities and support their mental health at a time when youth employment and opportunities have taken a hit.

In 1991, an association was formed to develop and manage a retirement complex that became known as the Leederville Gardens Retirement Village.

The project was benevolent in nature and surplus cash was transferred to the City to be held on trust and distributed to PBIs.

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