Restriction and Recovery: Shelter In Place

Box Hill Institute

Anchor, The Salvation Army and Box Hill Institute (BHI) Lakeside Campus have joined together in response to the alarming increase of families experiencing a housing crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, to create the Restriction and Recovery: Shelter In Place pilot program.

Recognising the risk and difficulties families were facing through isolation as well as home-schooling, Anchor and The Salvation Army immediately stepped in and supported over 100 families in motels across the outer eastern region with the assistance of BHI’s vacant conference accommodation.

The accommodation provides a more suitable environment for families and children providing them with access to kitchens, Wi-Fi, separate bedrooms, washing machines and space to allow the children to play while restrictions and recovery phases are in place.

Lauren Gordon, Partnership and Development lead at Anchor said, “The partnership between Anchor, The Salvation Army and Box Hill Institute Lakeside is a brilliant example of community directly responding to the needs of community, and highlights what can be achieved through collaboration.

“We are committed to ensuring the safe placement and ongoing support of both parents and children at risk of homelessness throughout the COVID-19 restriction period.” 

The pilot commenced on 1 June and is currently due to conclude on 31 August 2020, however Lauren is hopeful it will continue past that date.

Catering for up to ten families, the Shelter In Place pilot provides the support of a case manager to work alongside each family to improve health, wellbeing and housing outcomes.

The Foothills Foundation, a local philanthropic organisation, has also been a wonderful contributor to the pilot, providing additional funding to allow meals to be prepared by Melba Support Services kitchen and chefs.

These meals were delivered throughout the initial stages when local supermarkets shelves were bare and will continue to do so as long as needed.  

The pilot’s first families have expressed their gratefulness for the ongoing support offered by the partnership.