Today, Rod met Alan Ritter and the rest of the team at Box Hill CIS. They discussed all the services they offer, as well as how demand for these services has changed during the pandemic.
Box Hill CIS is an emergency relief organisation that provides those in need with food & essentials, food vouchers, assistance with pharmacy, utility and phone accounts, phone cards, transport assistance (petrol) and Telstra assistance certificates.
They also provide casework, counselling, referrals, information and can advocate and negotiate on individual’s behalf. All these services are provided by an entirely volunteer-led team!
Last year, they saw a decrease in demand for their services which they expect to be linked to the Job Keeper payments and Covid supplementary payments for JobSeeker. Since these payments have ended, they have once again seen an increase in demand for their services.
Many of their clients are based in rooming houses nearby, where rent is automatically taken out of their welfare payments, and they are left with pennies to buy groceries and other essential items.
It was disheartening to hear the inter-generational cycle of poverty that volunteers at the organisation were seeing every day.
Yet, seeing so many people come together, giving up their time and energy to support those most vulnerable in the community was uplifting and provides great hope for the future.
If you are in need of support and do not know where to go, Box Hill CIS is a great place to start.
Address: BOX HILL CIS
1/27 Bank Street, Box Hill 3128
Tel: (03) 92854801 (opening hours only)