We have been working towards providing more onsite services for our guests in Meals Plus through a consortium of organisations. These include government agencies like Service Australia (Centrelink), Service NSW, Revenue NSW, Births Deaths and Marriages, and DCJ as well as other not for profit and community organisations who assist those who may be disadvantaged or vulnerable.
During October we held our first Community Services Hub at Meals Plus. The purpose of the day is to provide guests with many services in one place at one time, providing information and immediate assistance where it is most needed. There were some great outcomes for those who attended, through the cooperation of the services in attendance and their ability to work together to deliver results. The day went so well that we will proceed with this as a regular monthly event.
One of the biggest achievements on the day was the ability for visitors to obtain photo ID. By having both Service NSW and Births, Deaths and Marriages onsite together we were able to assist 7 people in getting their identification sorted. Having the correct forms of ID can be a huge obstacle for those who may be homeless, as without ID they cannot access Centrelink payments, open a bank account or obtain accommodation.
There were 68 people seen on the day, with 35 receiving service assistance on the day, 23 organised a follow up appointment and 12 referred elsewhere. Below is the area of service guests were assisted with.
Our next hub day will take place on Wednesday 23rd November and we look forward to growing the number of services and ways we can assist people onsite.