Introducing Carina Hillmann
Support Act is delighted to introduce Carina Hillmann, who is our Melbourne based social worker. Her position has been made possible by a generous donation from Michael and Sue Gudinski.
Carina’s appointment comes at a critical time, as there has been a significant increase in the numbers of people accessing our Crisis Relief services in recent months.
We approved 10 grants in October for a total record value of $56,200; and a further 10 grants in November valued at just over $40k. This month, we will be providing supermarket vouchers to 184 service users to ensure that they can put food on the table over the festive season.
We also provide practical support where possible, often in addition to financial support. In the short time since her appointment*, Carina has provided support to many individual service users in Victoria and she shared the following example:
“I have been working alongside one of our Melbourne based service users over recent months, a roadie who has found himself in the vicious cycle of homelessness, following the tragic death of his housemate and consequent eviction. He spent several months couch surfing, worried he was outstaying his welcome. We were able to provide some financial support to keep him afloat, while also connecting him with local housing organisations, advocating on his behalf, liaising with services and providing information and support to the service user through this difficult time. I was recently informed that he was successful in obtaining housing, and has moved into a small studio apartment – providing him with stability, a sense of belonging and safety. The best news? He has been reunited with his dog which gives him the strength to continue his cancer treatment and focus on his physical and mental health.”
Thanks to the support of our donors and sponsors around Australia, we have also been able to help our service users to pay their rent (and avoid eviction); pay for a hip replacement; purchase a reclining wheel chair for someone who is bed bound in a nursing home; pay a vet bill for an elderly blind musician’s dog when it was run over by a car; provide carers for a person who had a stroke; provide an air conditioner for a person who is disabled; help with airfares after a car accident for a musician to get home; purchase a hot water system for an elderly retired manager; pay the dentist bills for a retired broadcaster; provide funeral support for grieving families; and more.
Remember, if you know someone who needs help please refer them to our Crisis Relief Number 1300 731 303 or they can apply online.
*Carina reports to Lindy Morrison, who is Support Act’s National Welfare Coordinator.