COVID support directory

22 April 2020 | Posted In: News

The team at Inner Sydney Voice is in regular contact with community workers across the inner-Sydney region. Here you will find news of the various initiatives and support programs in play to help people in time of need during the COVID crisis. This page will be constantly updated as we receive new information.

ABORIGINAL SUPPORT

The Aboriginal Affairs NSW website is hosting a new resources page for Aboriginal communities.

Babana Aboriginal provides culturally appropriate information about COVID-19 to: help people stay connected, access testing, obtain medical support, maintain wellbeing, and keep elders safe.

CESPHN has produced an online list of Aboriginal health services in central and eastern Sydney.

Aboriginal Medical Service remains open but has transitioned from face-to-face to phone-based consults. Call 9319 5823 for an appointment.

NSW Health has produced a list of COVID-19 testing clinics for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. NSW Health asks that you contact the clinic before to ask further questions, or the Health Direct Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Aboriginal Housing Office is continuing to assist with urgent housing enquiries — call 1800 727 555.

Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre continues to operate its services by telephone on 02 9569 3847 or free phone 1800 686 587.

CHILDREN’S SERVICES

Lifestart is accepting new Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) referrals in the regions where it is the Early Childhood Partner. Those regions are Central Coast, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Nepean Blue Mountains, South-East Sydney and Sydney. ECEI supports children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families and carers. If a child has a disability or a parent/carer is concerned about their child’s development, they may be able to receive help from the NDIS. As an Early Childhood Partner Lifestart can work with a family to: determine what the child’s support needs are, link the family and child with the right services, provide short-term early intervention supports, help families request NDIS access, work with families to develop an NDIS plan. Call Lifestart’s Client Engagement Team on 1800 953 390 or fill out a form online.

Kids Helpline is there to help children who are feeling stressed and anxious about COVID-19. Kids of all ages can give them a call, start a WebChat or send them an email.

CASS Child Care Services is providing a free online early childhood education program. The programs are delivered by experienced childhood professionals through Zoom every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-11am. Limited places, so bookings are essential. Call Mary Tong on 9439 3300.

Kookaburra Kids recently launched an online program called Kookaburra Kids Connect to assist young people develop and strengthen emotional competence during this time of physical distancing and beyond.

DISABILITY SUPPORT

Disability Information Helpline is available on 1800 643 787 for all your COVID-19 questions.

DRUGS

NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) is committed to maintaining its harm reduction services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Its Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) at 345 Crown Street, Surry Hills is open every weekday 8.30am-6.30pm Mondays to Fridays, and 10am-3pm Saturdays. NUAA is also  offering mail orders to community members living in New South Wales who are unable to get to a NSP. Call 1800 644 413.

EDUCATION

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE NSW is offering a number of fee-free short courses that can be completed in just days or weeks, offering practical skills and experiences across a range of industries.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Sydney Water is providing solutions for its customers experiencing affordability issues. The utility company offers direct financial support through its Payment Assistance Scheme. Sydney Water also aims to improve its customers’ financial wellbeing, inclusion and resilience by referring people to external services based on their needs. This may include referrals to other agencies for other types of help including: emergency relief, financial counselling, personal counselling, advocacy, housing, NILS (no interest loans) and EAPA (energy accounts payment assistance). The Customer Care Team can be contacted on 13 20 92.

Good Shepherd is resuming its phone-based financial counselling service. The organisation can be contacted at FCNSW@goodshep.org.au/1300 148 028.

Anglicare is helping vulnerable people facing food insecurity. Food and financial services are being provided remotely and online, and a number of Mobile Community Pantries continue to operate from local churches — with some additional parishes offering pre-packed food to their communities. Contact Anglicare at iwfamilysupport@Anglicare.org.au/1300 111 278.

Salvation Army Eastern Beaches provides financial support via its Assessment Line 9314 2166. The Salvos are also providing those in need with food parcels, fresh fruit and veggies, and free community breakfasts/lunches.

National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit service helping people tackle their debt problems. Its professional financial counsellors can advise people about how to get through the next few months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and provide help around accessing hardship arrangements. Call 1800 007 007.

HEALTH

Telehealth is now available to all Australians and will be covered by Medicare if you are a Commonwealth concession card holder, a child under 16 years or a vulnerable patient. Whether you are feeling unwell, with a respiratory illness or another condition, or if you need a doctor’s consult for any reason you can access telehealth through your telephone or video conference platform. More details here.

HOMELESS SUPPORT

Shelter NSW has put in place contingency measures to continue operations during the coronavirus crisis. To contact its office email admin@shelternsw.org.au. For more urgent matters call 0410 402 212.

HOUSING

Department of Communities and Justice has issued COVID-19 advice for DCJ housing tenants.

Tenants’ Union of NSW has answers to common questions about renting and COVID-19. Access the information here.

Mission Australia has produced a COVID-19 support guide for public housing tenants. Access it here.

LEGAL SUPPORT

LawAccess NSW is providing free legal help for people affected by the COVID-19 restrictions including: fines under the COVID-19 Public Health Order; COVID-19-related parenting arrangements; loss of employment or eviction from homes; COVID-19 immigration issues. Call 1300 888 529.

Aboriginal Legal Service is continuing to provide legal assistance for its clients. Call 1800-765-767 for police charges and court matters; 1800-733-233 for care and protection and family matters.

Australian Centre for Disability Law remains operational, however its staff and volunteers are working remotely until further notice. If you need assistance call 1800 800 708 or email adviceline@disabilitylaw.org.au

Seniors Rights Service offers free legal advice on many legal issues to older people in NSW, as well as a comprehensive referral service. Call 1800 242 079.

Redfern Legal Centre has produced a fact sheet on COVID-19 public health laws and police powers.

Inner City Legal Centre continues to provide the usual services, but via phone. Call 0466 724 979, or email iclc@iclc.org.au.

HIV/AIDS Legal Centre is providing all services by phone, except in exceptional circumstances. Call on 02 9206 2060, or email at halc@halc.org.au.

Homeless Persons’ Legal Service is operated by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. It continues to operate its legal clinics by phone. Call 02 8898 6545 for more information.

LGBTQI+

ACON has produced a fact sheet that answers questions about COVID-19 and shares tips and referrals for the LGBTQI+ community.

Equality Australia has produced a report about the specific issues facing LGBTQI+ people in Australia due to COVID-19 and its impacts.

Twenty10 is continuing its services supporting LGBTQI+ young people in New South Wales. Call 02 8594 9555.

MEDIA

SBS has news and information about COVID-19 available in 63 languages.

ABC News has rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health Commission of NSW has gathered evidence-based advice and tips to boost mental wellness during the COVID crisis.

Beyond Blue has launched a Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your mental health during this time.

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour support and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.

Headspace provides resources and support for young people.

Mental Health Foundation Australia has produced an online resource to help people cope with anxiety and stress during the COVID outbreak.

Australian Psychology Society has produced information sheets that give tips on maintaining mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MindSpot offers an online course for people 60+ years. It aims to help older adults learn to manage stress, anxiety, worry, low mood and depression.

One Door Mental Health is a bilingual mental health support program working closely with community services and allied health professionals to identify and link people from CALD backgrounds in Western Sydney to appropriate services. They also provide one-to-one emotional support to service users while they are getting referrals and receiving treatments. They provide their services in Mandarin, Vietnamese, Arabic, Farsi and Dari.

NUTRITION

Prosper‘s community kitchen provides online nutritional information and cooking demonstrations.

SENIORS

A COVID-19 support line for senior Australians is operating Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 8.30am-6.00pm. Call 1800 171 866.

STUDENTS

Study NSW has developed an International Student Welfare Services Hub to help support international students during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The office of Australian Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi has compiled a list of resources for international students during COVID-19.

WOMEN

Domestic Violence NSW is the state’s peak body representing domestic and family violence services. A spike in domestic violence has occurred during the COVID lockdown. If you are experiencing violence or need someone to turn to, help is available.

Women’s and Girl’s Emergency Centre is continuing to offer support to women and families experiencing homelessness and domestic and family violence. Call 9319 4088 8.30am–4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Older Women’s Network NSW is hosting exercise classes online. Details here.

UNIONS

ASU Jobs Connect is a free service for union members to find work where there is now high demand.

YOUNG PEOPLE

Youth Action has created a COVID-19 resource.

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