Grants to support some of the most marginalised people in our community, are the final grants awarded by the Ross Trust as part of an almost $300,000 rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trustees approved eight unrestricted grants including to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre ($20,000) and Council of Single Mothers and their Children ($25,000) and also provided a grant of $72,000 to Justice Connect for digital infrastructure to support the services they offer to clients during COVID-19.
All organisations have had long-term relationships with the Ross Trust, enabling the assessment of grant submissions to be fast-tracked.
As COVID-19 has started to impact rental agreements, employment and financial stability, Justice Connect has experienced a significant increase in calls for assistance.
In response, the free legal service has been moving many of its services onto online platforms and tailored them appropriately, so that they can be accessed more easily while the social distancing and lock down measure continue. You can find their resources here.
The Council of Single Mothers and their Children (CSMC) supports over 3500 members. Single mothers, like others in the community, are navigating everything from financial stress to supporting school-aged children learning from home. The grant will go toward individual payments and staffing.
Asylum seekers face additional challenges of no access to our medical and social security systems and no access to the government’s COVID-19 response payments such as JobKeeper. The Ross Trust grant will go towards humanitarian needs such as food packs, healthcare and rental assistance, while the ASRC attempts to stay on top of its increasing casework load.
Launch Housing was also awarded $25,200 for access to IT materials and support for children in the Education Pathways Program. This is in additional to a recent Educational Equity Challenge and Change grant of $250,000 awarded by the Ross Trust for the Education Pathways Program.
This latest announcement of COVID-19 grants is in addition to grants for emergency response and supporting vulnerable children to transition to online learning in the Mornington Peninsula. Read more here.
Summary of the Ross Trust COVID-19 response:
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
Council of Single Mothers and their Children
Access to IT materials and support for children in the Education Pathways Program
Digital infrastructure to support scaled-up COVID-19 services
Mornington Community Information and Support Centre
Southern Peninsula Community Support and Information Centre, Rosebud
Wallaroo Primary School, Hastings
Supporting vulnerable children to transition to online learning
Western Port Community Support Centre, Hastings