Who We Are
ENCOMPASS CARE VIC (E-Care) is a not-for-profit charitable organisation with the sole purpose of helping the underprivileged. E-Care provides emergency relief material aid, emotional and social support. We are a community organisation who takes walk ins and are a recognised food hub in Melbourne. We receive referrals from over 50 organisations who identify their clients as requiring benevolent relief. All programs are client centred. We take a non-judgmental approach. We focus on what is working well for individuals, their strengths and support networks. E-Care Vic embraces all individuals and treats everyone equally, irrespective of disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief and culture.
Why we exist
As the demands for our service continue to accelerate, we believe the key to addressing this problem is to collaborate with other agencies, stakeholders and the community. Through this collaboration we can work together to make a difference in the lives of those who are experiencing need.
We provide assistance to people living with:
- Food insecurity
- Social isolation
- Short/Long term unemployment
- Sickness or disability
- Distress and anxiety
- Mental health
- Substance addictions
- Gambling addictions
- Recent migration
- Housing issues
- Family violence
(As of December 2020)
Our Solution Based Approach
Click through the tabs to discover our response to each need
The Need: Food Insecurity
In the course of a year, 1 in 7 people experience food insecurity in Australia (Foodbank Vic). This equates to 3.6 million people who are in need of assistance.
Food insecurity: When a person is unable to obtain a sufficient amount of healthy food on a day to day basis. As a result people suffer from chronic hunger and poor nutrition, and are, therefore, less likely to have healthy and productive lives.
Our Response: FOOD CRISIS AND REFERRAL SERVICES
E-Care Vic provides direct relief of poverty. It is the food hub for over 50 organisations in Melbourne. Our sole focus is to help the disadvantaged get back on their feet during tough times.
We provide food parcels containing non-perishables, fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meals, dairy, meat and bread. We offer a large range of school snacks for children.
We conduct intake interviews to ensure that all service users feel safe and have access to services which will help them navigate through their difficult situations.
1,035 Food Parcels to families
2,840 Food support to individuals
Farm to Families
We work closely with Food Bank Victoria in the Farms 2 Families Program allowing families to access fresh produce direct from the farms into their homes. In October 2016 & March 2017 we ran the Farm 2 Families market. On each occasion approximately 170 families attended, equating to over 550 individuals who were assisted with food on the day. This program is subject to funding.
The Need: 1 in 7 children go to school without eating breakfast.
Our Response: BREAKFAST PROGRAMS IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
We provide a weekly breakfast program for Norris Bank and Findon Primary School, feeding 500 children weekly. We work closely with the school communities to assist families who are struggling with food insecurity and provide food parcels at the principal’s discretion.
Impact: 11,685 Breakfasts to children (that’s 11,685 toasties)
The Need: Multiple welfare service access
Service Users come up against difficult times and need further/broader assistance.
“Welfare” refers to the wellbeing of people.
Our Response: CRISIS REFERRAL CENTRE
Our referral system is comprehensive. We have access to:
- Mental health assessments
- Emotional abuse support
- Substance abuse support
- Gambling issues support
- Self-harm support
- Domestic violence or abuse support, women’s refuges and shelters, counselling
- Crisis lines and support groups
- Financial support
These services focus on the prevention of negative/destructive types of behaviours, giving clients an opportunity to experience freedom from life controlling behaviours.
Our welfare referral guide consists of:
- Alcohol, Drug and Gambling
- Emergency Relief
- Family, Family Violence
- Housing Services
- Migrant Refugee and Asylum Seekers
- Financial Hardship
Impact: over 300 referrals in 2018
We offer case management to individuals who have multiple and changing needs. We develop basic care plans in consultation with other professionals from other disciplines to meet the client’s individual needs.
We respond to service users’ problems and emergencies, anticipating problems before they may occur.
The Need: Social Isolation/Loneliness
8 out of 10 Australians experience loneliness.
Social isolation: the state of complete or near complete lack of connection between an individual and society.
Loneliness: temporary lack of contact with other humans.
Social isolation and loneliness have a negative impact on mental, social and physical health.
Our Response: COMMUNITY CAFÉ
Community Café is a safe environment for service users who are experiencing social isolation, mental health issues, abuse and suicidal thoughts. It provides the clients with a place of acceptance, education through guest speakers, a sense of community and belonging. It also offers hope and something for them to look forward to. They meet weekly and are provided with a free morning tea and hot lunch. Service users play games giving them a sense of fun. We celebrate individual’s wins in their personal struggles. Our program includes active prevention and early intervention around life controlling issues. We aim to build resilience and enhance skills in dealing with crisis. Partnering agencies refer clients weekly to the Café. Our comprehensive program allows clients to learn life skills and interact with others in a non-threatening environment.
Impact: 1,380 community meals in 2018
The Need: Emotional Issues
45 percent of people experience a mental health condition in their life time. In one year, one million Australian adults have been diagnosed depression and over two million with anxiety (source: Beyond Blue).
Our Response: Counselling
We offer counselling which addresses the underlying causes of abuse and assist in reducing the likelihood that it will occur again. We offer referrals to other services that treat emotional, physical, and financial issues. We focus on educating clients regarding resources that are available within the community, in turn assisting them to rebuild themselves and become valued members of the community.
The Need: Social Isolation Amongst University Students
International students have limited support when dealing with mental health.
Our Response: Unicare
Our university program assists students who are faced with the challenge of a new course in a new culture. We assist struggling students by offering them meals on a weekly basis and study food packs twice yearly during exam times. Many international students have minimal financial support, no family present in Australia, and experience language barriers. We assist them by helping them integrate into our community.
The Need: The Activity Gap for Children
Access to Creative Arts for children.
Our Response: Creative Kids
We provide a dance, singing and drama program for children in the community. We run this at a low cost to families to give disadvantaged children the opportunity to experience the Creative Arts.
Impact: Class of 20 children in 2018
The Need: Life Ready
Access to learning and development for life skills.
Our Response: Workshops
Encompass Care Vic runs workshops to address financial issues, anxiety, depression, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and life skills. We liaise with a number of other agencies and services in our community to assist us to deliver comprehensive information.
The Need: Homelessness
Homelessness in Australia has increased by 13.7 percent in the last 5 years (ABS Census 2016).
Our Response: Homeless Packs
We offer homeless packs, as many of our service users are living on the street or in their cars. These may include Myki cards or a fuel voucher.
Impact: 20 Homeless Packs Distributed
Encompass Care Vic runs an annual homeless lunch giving the disadvantaged access to a hearty warm meal and information from other organisations. We also provide service users with food parcels and give them show bags with items that will assist them.
We run an annual fundraiser to help support those experiencing homelessness.
Barber on the Streets
For one day per year we fund a hairdresser/barber to provide hair cuts for those who are homeless.
The Need: Housing
Our Response: Moving Packs
We assist families with moving packs if they are in transitional housing.
Impact: 5 Moving Packs distributed
The Need: Toiletry Packs and Nappies
We provide clients with household items and toiletries.
Impact: 1,000 toiletry items distributed
The Need: Family Violence
1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS.
Our Response: Care packs
We provide special care packs to those who are victims of domestic violence.
Impact: 20 care packs distributed
The Need: Seasonal Stress
Statistics show that anxiety and stress is prevalent and at the rise during Festive Seasons.
Our Response: Community Programs
- Christmas Luncheon Program – We operate a Community Christmas Luncheon providing the disadvantaged access to a hearty warm meal.
- Christmas Hamper Program – We provide 130 hampers to families who are experiencing financial hardship.
- Christmas Toy Project – We distribute in excess of 300 toys to disadvantaged children each year.
- Christmas Extravaganza – Our annual evening event brings the community together to celebrate Christmas. They enjoy singing, entertainment, carols, food trucks, animal farm, face painting and lots more.
IMPACT: 800 participants
- Easter Extravaganza – Each year we offer a free community Easter Egg Hunt for all children in the community. We provide thousands of eggs, activities and fun for all families. This is an amazing event which allows families to join together with other members within the community.
IMPACT: 1,130 participants
The Need: Affordable Clothing
Our Response: The opp shop
We run an Opp Shop wall for service users. All proceeds assist in resourcing the E-Care Vic Food Hub.