Salvos still here to help

Latrobe Community Support Services has moved its head office to smaller premises in Morwell as a result of minor welfare funding cuts across Victoria.

The Salvation Army’s Gippsland service, which used to sit on Bridle Road, has moved to Unit 2/4 Hoyle Street but offers the same services.

Doorways coordinator and caseworker Paul Gray said all members of the community who had experienced hard times in their lives were welcome to seek the centre’s assistance.

“Our message is that if anybody is suffering from difficulty, come and see us,” Mr Gray said.

“If someone is having difficulty in any of the major areas of their life that might affect their living conditions, we are more than happy to help them work through those issues.”

About 100 people walk through the centre’s doors each week to access 24-hour food relief, medical or fuel vouchers and lifestyle program referrals.

Clients range from former prisoners to people escaping domestic violence, and they can access church referrals, advocacy surrounding utility bills or support with tenancy issues.

There are 13 people who volunteer on a rotated shift roster and two full-time employees who assist LCSS’s 1350 registered clients.

Administration and client assistant Myla Bennett said clients no longer needed a welfare, concession or pension card to access LCSS assistance.

“Even though you have a full-time job, if you are struggling, you are welcome to come down here,” Ms Bennett said.

“We’re not saying we can help everybody, but we will try the best we can to meet the criteria of their needs.”

The centre will operate as before, with doors open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to noon and 1pm to 3pm.

To support Latrobe Community Support Services, donate directly to the Salvation Army or keep your eyes open for the Red Shield Appeal in May.