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Emergency assistance and financial support

If you need help finding information on access to food, financial assistance, somewhere to stay, being safe from domestic violence and more, there's range of Council support and external services here.

Page last updated 22 September 2021


Where to go for help and support

Many local community organisations are still operating to provide supporting and emergency relief to community members who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you or another community member is facing difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, here are some of the community services available to provide help and support.

There are also helplines and resources to support you via phone and online.
Download a copy of key contacts for help and support.

Financial assistance

Energy bill support for households

Households across NSW who need help paying their energy bills will be able to access up to $1,600 per year in financial support during the current COVID lockdown.

Find out more

Help with the cost of living

Rebates and Savings

The NSW Government is helping ease the cost of living with more than 70 rebates and savings.

Simply browse NSW Government rebates and savings or use the Savings Finder to see which savings are relevant to you.

Visit NSW Government's Help with the cost of living

Salvation Army - Moneycare

Free & Confidential Financial Counselling & Financial Literacy Service to support people experiencing financial distress

Phone: 02 9633 5011

Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW

The Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW is a free, fair and independent service that can assist consumers and small business experiencing difficulties with their energy and some water providers in NSW.

Phone 1800 246 545 or visit the website www.ewon.com.au

Increased and Accelerated Income support for individuals

The Australian Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.

This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next 6 months.

For more information download the Income Support for Individuals Fact Sheet. (PDF, 1.03 MB)

Translations of this Fact Sheet will soon become available.

Support payment fact sheets

COVID-19 Funding opportunities

COVID-19 Funding opportunities for individuals, not-for-profit organisations and businesses.

2021 COVID-19 Business Grant
Amount: Between $7,500 to $15,000
Eligibility: Businesses, not-for-profit organisations and individuals
Closing: 13 September 2021
A one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. Funding will cover, utilities, wages, rent, marketing and communications activities, the cost of perishable goods and other activities that support the operation of the business.
To apply, visit Service NSW

COVID-19 Micro-Business Grant
Amount: Up to $1,500
Eligibility: Businesses, not-for-profit organisations and individuals
Closing: 13 September 2021
This 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant provides cashflow support for micro-businesses in New South Wales who have had their work impacted by the restrictions while continuing to incur business costs. A fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.
To apply, visit Service NSW

Impact Grants for Technology Project
Amount: Between $5,000 to $20,000
Eligibility: Not-for-profit organisations
Closing: 14 September 2021
This program seeks to support not-for-profits organisations by providing them with strategic and technical support to serve their community more efficiently and effectively. This could include choosing a video conferencing platform, phone system, IT Health check and assessment or help moving to the cloud etc.
To apply, visit Dog & Bone

CALD COVID-19 Health Small Grant
Amount: Up to $5,000
Eligibility: Not-for-profit community organisations, universities, local government and unincorporated groups
Closing: 31 January 2022
Grants to assist multicultural community groups to lead communication activities around COVID-19 and the vaccination rollout.
To apply, visit Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia

2021 COVID-19 JobSaver Payment
Amount: Between $1,500 to $10,000
Eligibility: Business and not-for-profit organisations
Closing: 30 June 2022
Fortnightly payment to help maintain employee headcount and provide cashflow support to businesses.
To apply, visit Service NSW

Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate
Amount: Up to $1,500
Eligibility: Business and not-for-profit organisations
Closing: 30 June 2022
This rebate helps businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19 and funds can be used to offset the cost of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges. These include food authority licences, liquor licences, tradesperson licences, event fees and council rates.
To apply, visit Service NSW

COVID-19 Disaster Payment
Amount: Up to $600
Eligibility: Individuals
Closing: Ongoing
Financial assistance to help workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement.
To apply, visit the Services NSW

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
Amount: Up to $15,000
Eligibility: Individuals
Closing: Ongoing
Financial assistance to help anyone unable to earn income due to self-isolation, quarantine or caring for someone with COVID-19 lockdown.
To apply, visit the Services NSW

Export Assistance Grant
Amount: Up to $10,000
Eligibility: Businesses
Closing: Ongoing
This grant will assist eligible export businesses to recover from the impact of bushfire, drought and COVID-19 to access global markets. Businesses can apply for 50% reimbursement of export-enabling expenses, such as marketing and e-commerce, for expenses already paid since 1 January 2020.
To apply, visit Service NSW

Food Banks and Emergency Care Packages

Anglicare - Mobile Community Pantry

Low cost groceries to help stretch your budget further, saving money and connecting with your local community.

Where: Merrylands Anglican Church, 30 St. Ann Street, Merrylands

When: From 10am to 11am, every second Monday (except public holidays)

Contact us for more information:

Australian Afghan Association Hassanian Youth Association Inc

Distributes Care Packs including masks, gloves and groceries to different areas in Cumberland Local Government Area. Available by phone 8am to 8pm.

Phone: 0421 567 397

Cumberland City Council - Seniors and Disability Services

Home Delivered Meals

  • We are delivering frozen meals only (with dessert and juice)
  • Meal choices are limited to available stock (unless medical/religious dietary requirements)
  • Delivery is offered once a week
  • Delivery will take place Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – day will be determined by Nutrition Services, and based on availability
  • Customers/Representatives will be invoiced
  • Direct Debit is the ONLY payment method accepted at this time

Shopping assistance

  • Available to those who are isolated (e.g. no family, friends, carers) and those who are unable to access the shops/online options 
  • Service is available once a fortnight
  • Service cost is $12.00 per occasion. Customer is contacted via phone for their shopping list, a staff member will undertake shopping on the customer’s behalf and deliver to their front door.
  • Direct Debit is the ONLY payment method accepted at this time

C3 Cares

Food Bank for seniors and people with disability. Available daily.

Phone: 02 9972 8688

Holroyd Youth Services

Food Bank and some toiletries for young people and families. Thursdays only.

Phone: 02 9637 1535

House of Welcome – Food Bank

Food Bank and support for individuals and families who are seeking asylum or are refugees. By appointment only - Tuesdays to Thursdays.

Phone: 02 9727 9290

Web:  www.stfrancis.org.au/house-of-welcome

Islamic Dawah Centre of Australia and Al-Ihsan Foundation International Limited

Assistance with grocery vouchers and meal vouchers.

Jesuit Refugee Service

Food Bank and minimal Emergency Relief support for individuals and families who are seeking asylum (Bridging visa, Temporary visa and SHEV. Home delivery only.

Case Work for people seeking asylum.

Phone service only. Leave a message if phone attended and will call back.

Phone 02 9098 9336

Karma Kitchen (Hindu Council Benevolent Fund)

Emergency Care packs: Fresh food parcel for people impacted by COVID-19 - including international students, seniors and unemployed individuals.

Phone: 1300 849 278

Karabi Community Services

Food Parcel pick-up: 1 to 2 bags of fresh fruit and vegetables for a gold coin donation. Collection on Mondays only with prior booking.

Food Bank: Maximum 4 bags of staple foods - including fruit, vegetables, freezer and pantry items. BYO bag. Cost: $25 - payable in advance. Prior booking required. 

Phone: 02 9631 6575

Mahasangh

Operates a ‘Help Desk’ which connects people with emergency food packages , accommodation and general health needs.

Support for people impacted by the COVID19 including international students, seniors and unemployed individuals.

Phone: 0437039221 or submit an enquiry to the Mahasangh Help Desk

OzHarvest

OzHarvest will be activating a new pop-up Hamper Hub in Granville

When: From 11am to 2pm every Thursday.

Where: The Granville Centre, 1 Memorial Drive, Granville.

How to access a hamper: Anyone in the community in need of food support is welcome to visit our Granville Hamper Hub every week to collect a hamper. They will receive a bag containing pantry items, like rice, canned goods and milk, and can then select the fresh produce they want to add on top, like potatoes, onion, garlic, apples, bananas, and more. No ID or government cards are required – the Hub is open to anyone in the community who needs help.

How to get there: We are directly opposite the Granville train station. There is disabled on-street parking available opposite the site and a 1hr parking zone directly outside. 

Community volunteers: We will be encouraging community members to join us as volunteers to keep the Hub going each week. It truly becomes a community space when people recognise the faces behind the hampers and can converse in the same language. There will be more information available at the Hub, where people can sign up on the spot.

For more information about OzHarvest visit their website.

 

Salvation Army Auburn

Help with emergency food hampers for community members who might be facing some challenges with food.

Where: 166-170 South Parade, Auburn.

For more information: Contact us from 9.30am to 3pm on 02 8644 0150 or 02 9646 3767.

Vinnies

Assistance can be provided in the form of:

Food, clothing, emergency accommodation, toiletries and other everyday necessities, domestic violence refuges and services, and no interest loans.

For more information: Contact us by phone 13 18 12 or email vinnies@vinnies.org.au

Western Sydney Community Centre

Food Bank: Fresh food pantry. Wednesdays and Fridays: Seniors hour 12pm to 1pm. Others 1pm to 3pm. 

Eligible recipients include people who have recently lost their jobs and  Health Care Card, Pension Card and Seniors Card holders.

Phone: 02 9649 2063

Emergency Relief Assistance

This support includes assistance paying bills (EPA vouchers), food vouchers, household items, and referrals to crisis housing. Eligibility criteria applies.

Anglican Community Services

Assistance with rental arrears and bonds, electricity and telephone bills and some food vouchers.

Phone: 02 8624 8600

Visit Anglican Community Services

Accessible Diversity Services Initiative Limited (ADSi)

Some assistance for eligible residents living in Auburn, Berala, Lidcombe or Regents Park.

Phone: 02 8737 5500

Email alison@adsi.org.au

Visit: Accessible Diversity Services Incorporated

Australian Anatolian Community Services Co-op Ltd

Assistance with electricity and gas bills (EPA vouchers).

Phone: 02 9643 1666

Visit: Australian Anatolian Community Services Co-op Ltd

Community Migrant Resource Centre

Assistance with electricity and gas bills (EPA vouchers) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Phone: 02 9687 9901

Visit: Community Migrant Resource Centre

Cumberland Multicultural Community Services

Assistance with electricity and gas bills (EPA vouchers).

Phone: 02 9637 7600 

Visit: Cumberland Multicultural Community Services

Prosper (Project Australia) Incorporated

Assistance with electricity and gas bills (EPA vouchers), food packs, toiletries, nappies, small household items and clothing.

Phone: 0402 787 571 

Visit: Prosper (Project Australia) Incorporated

St Vincent De Paul Society NSW

Assistance with food parcels and vouchers.

Phone: 02 9643 7794 

Visit: St Vincent De Paul Society NSW

The Salvos Connect

Assistance with electricity and gas bills (EPA vouchers), and vouchers for food, petrol or other essentials

Phone: 1300 371 288

Supporting Children, Young People and Families

Child Protection

Reporting a Child at Risk

Reporting a child at risk, signs of child abuse and neglect, child protection laws, family preservation, FACS services that keep kids safe, Mandatory reporters.

Phone: 132 111

Daniel Morcombe Foundation

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation has some fantastic videos and activities for children and young people from 3 years old all the way to the high school years. We want to make sure all children and young people are empowered with the knowledge of how to get help if they need it. 

Kids Helpline

Another great service that can be easily accessed is Kids Helpline. Kids Helpline is Australia’s free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for children and young people aged 5 to 25. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone please call 1800 55 1800 or visit the Kids Helpline website

Online Safety

During the Coronavirus outbreak, many children will increase their online activity. To ensure they remain safe visit the Australian Government's eSafety site at www.esafety.gov.au

Or read the media release on eSafety

Blackdog Institute

Blackdog Institute Webinars

Domestic Violence and Family Support

Domestic Violence Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse including physical, emotional, financial, sexual, verbal, cultural or religious abuse please see below for telephone and online help services and resources. If you are in immediate danger please call Triple 000.

For further information and for resources in community languages, please also see Educational Video Resources

For a list of contacts and information on where to Get help now please visit the Domestic and Family Violence page.

  • Lifeline, 24 hour telephone crisis support – confidential, professional and welcoming for all religions, ages, genders, and sexual orientation. For crisis support call 13 11 14.
  • 1800RESPECT website – National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family violence Counselling Service. Online Chat available 24 hours a day.
  • Translating and Interpreting service – free telephone or onsite interpreters in your own language. Available 24 hours every day of the year. Call 131 450.
  • Australian Red Cross - Australian Red Cross’ Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Financial Assistance program will provide financial assistance and casework support to eligible people on temporary visas, or with uncertain visa status, experiencing family and domestic violence, and in need of financial support. Contact during business hours Monday to Friday on 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276).

Legal Aid NSW’s Domestic Violence Unit is continuing to provide advice and assistance to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic over the phone to clients who are experiencing domestic violence and need help with any of the following issues:

  • Duty representation in the Family Court;
  • Duty representation in some ADVO lists in the Local Court
  • Family law (Parenting and property issues);
  • Care and Protection;
  • Divorce;
  • Child Support;
  • ADVOs and
  • Other legal issues the client is having because of domestic violence

Specialist support staff include lawyers, social workers and financial counsellors who work collaboratively to support clients.

To make a referral, please 9219 6300 or email domesticviolenceunit@legalaid.nsw.gov.au


Family Support Factsheets

The following COVID-19 factsheets on topics such as Domestic Violence and Family Support are now available to view online:

COVID-19: Are you worried about domestic and family violence?
Domestic and family violence can become worse during a crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be worried about your safety, or the safety of someone you know. This factsheet has information about keeping safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
COVID-19: It's not safe for me to stay at home - what should I do?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be harder for you to find a time when it is safe to leave your home because of family and domestic violence. This factsheet provides information about things you should consider when making a plan to leave.
 
COVID-19: Apprehended domestic violence orders
Domestic and family violence can become worse during a crisis. Police can make an application in court for an apprehended domestic violence order to keep you and your children safer.
 
COVID-19: Child support and family payments
If care arrangements for your child change or your income changes because of COVID-19, this could affect your child support assessment and family tax benefit payments. This factsheet aims to help answer your questions.
 
COVID-19: Financial stress for separating families
Separation can be a time of financial stress for many families, and many people have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This factsheet offers tips for dealing with financial stress when you are going through separation.
 
COVID-19: Mediation by telephone
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been changes in the way family law courts operate. This factsheet is about how a mediation, or family dispute resolution conference, can help you resolve your family law problems quickly and without the need to go to court.

More resources

More family and civil law resources about COVID-19 and the law are being developed and will be made available soon. To view the latest resources relating to COVID-19 and the law, visit  and search using the keyword “COVID-19”.

Helplines

  • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14  24 Hour Telephone Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention – confidential, professional and welcoming for all religions, ages, genders, and sexual orientation.
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • 24/7 Support Line and Chat Line Available 
  • Suicide Call-back Service: 1300 659 467
  • Health Direct: 1800 022 022  If you are feeling unwell and can't reach your doctor
  • Kids helpline: 1800 551 800
  • 1800RESPECT:  National Sexual Assault ,Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service: 1800 737 732
  • Domestic Violence Helpline NSW: 1800 656 463
  • NSW Ageing & Disability Abuse Helpline: 1800 628 221  9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Online support and resources

Parents and Carers

There are Early Intervention services that are funded by the NSW Government to support vulnerable children, young people and families. Some eligibility criteria may apply. This includes case management, counselling, information and referral. Many services are still operating during this period providing by phone support and referrals.

It is advised to call services first or check their websites to confirm opening hours and services available.

Find your local service at www.linker.org.au

Talking to kids about Coronavirus

General Advice

Physical activities

Play ideas

Education support

Youth

Auburn Youth Centre provides the following services for young people aged 12 to 24 years:

  • Free counselling for young people and their families living in Cumberland, provided in English and Arabic, face to face, online and by phone
  • Individual support, assessment, referral, advocacy for young people and their families by phone, face to face and online
  • Online programs for young people:
    • Monday - Lifeskills
    • Wednesday - Cooking
    • Thursday - Critical Thinking Discussion Group
    • Friday - Girls Social Group
  • Young women’s empowerment group, helping young women have a voice
  • Grocery packs for a gold coin donation, available for young people and their families in financial hardship living in Cumberland
  • Music mentoring program
  • Wellbeing calls, if you know a young person who just needs to have a talk we can call them.

Contact: Auburn Youth Centre on 02 9646 2122 or https://www.ayc.org.au/

Homelessness Services and Transition Accommodation

Barnardos

Transitional accommodation for families with dependent children and young pregnant women - 16 to 24 years.

Phone: 02 8752 0300

Link2home

This information and referral telephone service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It helps to accommodation and services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Callers to Link2home will receive one or more of the following:

  • Information about local services
  • An assessment to determine what kind of help is needed
  • Referral to appropriate specialist homelessness services (SHS), support services, temporary accommodation and/or other services.

Link2home also provides information about homelessness services across NSW to SHS providers and homelessness advocates acting on behalf of clients.

Phone 1800 152 152

Men2Home

Parramatta Mission, working in partnership with Mission Australia and St Vincent de Paul Society operate the Western Sydney Single Men’s Homeless program. This incorporates crisis accommodation (from Hope Hostel) and transitional accommodation and provides outreach services to rough sleepers and clients with complex needs.

Phone: 0419 696 673 or 02 8880 8234

Mission Australia

Western Sydney Homelessness Outreach Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Service (HOPARRS) supports people over the age of 21 years, and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This includes rough sleepers, people with mental health issues, people leaving custody, and people with a disability. Strong focus on Aboriginal people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Phone: 1800 384 331

NSW Government Fair Trading

The NSW Government has introduced an interim 60-day stop on landlords seeking to evict tenants due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19, together with longer six month restrictions on rental arrears evictions for those financially disadvantaged by COVID-19.

Check out their website for more information

The Salvation Army

If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of homelessness, please contact us or visit our store.

Phone: 9646 3767

Visit: The Salvation Army, Auburn Homeless Services - Corner of Park Road & South Parade, Auburn
(across from Auburn train station)

UCA-Parramatta Mission

Cumberland Homelessness Service for Single Women and Women with Children Escaping Domestic Violence

This service targets single women over 25 years of age who are homeless or at risk of homelessness within the Parramatta, Auburn and Holroyd areas, and women with children experiencing domestic and family violence within the Parramatta and Holroyd areas. 

The service provides prevention and early intervention, and crisis and transitional accommodation with support to exit clients out of homelessness. It has a strong focus on responses for Aboriginal women and is accessible to women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

This service provides the women’s refuges: 

  • Thelma Brown Cottage: Phone: 0407 903 362 
  • Kelly’s Cottage (formerly known as Adele Dundas): Phone 9636 2380

Lead provider: UCA-Parramatta Mission

Phone: 9891 2277

Wesley Community Services Limited

Homelessness support for couples with children or singles with children who are Australian Citizens or permanent residents.

Phone: 02 9797 2312

Visit: Wesley Community Services Limited

Youth2Home

The Youth Hub is the centralised intake point into the youth accommodation services. The Youth Hub provides intake into Outreach and Early Intervention Case Management, Crisis accommodation and referral pathways to transitional accommodation.

Phone: 02 8880 8222

Other resources

AskIzzy

A mobile-friendly website that connects people who are in crisis with the services they need right now and nearby - find shelter, food, health and other critical support services.

Visit askizzy.org.au

Find Legal Answers

A link to services provided from the State Library. Legal help can be found for a wide range of COVID-19 related crisis issues - from rent and employment, to financial disputes. 

Visit: legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/getting-help

Mental Health

MindGuide is a free online website/app to help people in Western Sydney navigate mental health information, support and services. MindGuide provides information for available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Available via Apple Store or Google Play as an app or via the internet.

Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) Below is a list of categories currently included in the Mental Health Directory:

  • Allied Health
  • Children and Young People
  • Community Health Care
  • Counselling
  • Drug/Alcohol
  • General Practitioners and Medical Centres
  • Helplines
  • Housing Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Primary Mental Health Care Providers
  • Respite/Carer Support
  • Support Group/s

ScamWatch

Be aware of scams

Unfortunately the chaos and confusion of COVID-19 has also provided opportunities for scammers to pray on unsuspecting people. Be aware of the many scams that have developed recently by visiting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's ScamWatch.

Support for International Students

The NSW Government will fund temporary crisis accommodation for international students in crisis. International students enrolled in NSW can also have free access to the Redfern Legal Centre’s multilingual legal advice app for international students, My Legal Mate.

Phone: NSW Government COVID-19 hotline 13 77 88

Online: Redfern Legal Centre’s International Student Legal Service NSW  


The Australian Government has provided a dedicated email and hotline for international students if they have questions on support available.

Telecross - Phone check in service

Red Cross can provide you with a daily telephone call to check on your wellbeing through a service known as Telecross. This provides peace of mind if you are at risk of an accident or illness that may go unnoticed, such as falling and being unable to call for help. The volunteer will check to see that you are well and provide a friendly voice to wake up to each morning.

For more information and to register for this service visit Telecross