The latest news from SJOS / St Joseph’s Outreach Services Inc.

| June 9, 2020


The Unit 3 Refurbishment Project is now complete and the unit is ready for the new renter. The Food Store has now reopened and the hours of operation will remain as they were prior to the COVID-19 lock down. For the health and safety of all SJOS Volunteers, Supporters and Visitors, new procedures have been introduced, new cleaning practices with personal sanitation guidelines, to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for everyone.



Patron: Sir James Gobbo AV CVO

President: Ms Janet Maher


St Joseph’s Outreach Services (SJOS)
Post Office Box 21
South Yarra VIC 3141



Our mission is to provide transitional housing and
support services to those in need, regardless of race
or creed and to work towards relieving the effects of
poverty in our community.


There was a lot of activity in the housing units over the month of May. New renters arrived for Units 5, 8, and 11 and with that came some additional requests. Unit 11 had some roller blind issues and the concept of replacing some of the roller blinds will continue as the units age. A new refrigerator was purchased for Unit 8 as the old one had insufficient workable shelving, plus Unit 11’s new renter needed an additional bed for her daughter. In Unit 5, housing a mother with a young baby, a new shower head was needed to assist with the water pressure issues. We also purchased a new mattress for the renter in Unit 4, whose doctor had stated that her medical conditions would be improved if her mattress was firmer. SJOS would like to thank Mattresses Galore for their ongoing support of the SJOS Housing Units with the ongoing mattress requirements. In May, SJOS also worked with API Locksmiths to correct some key issues as the security of all those who come to SJOS seeking support is a priority. As a result, new locks and keys were purchased for three (3) units. A 6-month audit from FES (Fire Equipment Services), was also conducted and new Fire Blankets have been installed in Units 2 and 3. The Fire Blankets in Units 1, 4 and 6 will also need relocation for better fire prevention.


A group of enthusiastic volunteers, all socially distancing well, helped with the refit of Unit 3. Volunteers moved furniture up the 2 flights of stairs and others washed dishes, dusted, vacuumed and made the bed. A big thank you to all, proving that “many hands make light work”. With the continued lockdown regulations for COVID-19, all fundraising activities have ceased. However, SJOS Volunteers are still active and the support from those who have continued to donate foodstuffs for the SJOS Food Store is greatly appreciated. The Twelve Thirteen Barmi Batmi Group, led by their programme manager, Jenn Drew, continues to support the SJOS Food Store and a special box was created in the St Joseph’s Church Foyer so that members of that organization could easily donate. This group is also organising the donation of sheet sets and towels for the SJOS Units. The SJOS Raffle will recommence soon with a draw date in September and there are lots more to be sold with the tickets at $2.00 each or $20.00 per book. The SJOS Garden Club continues with their great work in growing produce for the Food Store, with their May meeting held via “Zoom”. The new large compost bin is working well and the group is working on ways to ensure it is used to the fullest. Winter planting has begun and the next meeting will be held, in the garden, at 9:00 am on Saturday 13 June 2020.


In late 2019, the SJOS Management Committee decided to start organising the gradual refurbishment plan to “redo” the interiors of the transitional housing units. As some of the units are nearly 20 years old, and they have been well used by many families over the years, it was felt that there needed to be some major rejuvenation.


Originally the units were used for emergency accommodation and the families only stayed at the units for a relatively short period while waiting for their public housing application to be approved. However, now the renters stay a much longer period, and the units are very restrictive in the kitchen preparation area plus storage space for personal items. It is through the generosity of generous supporters that we are able to finance this refurbishment project and we thank, most sincerely, all our wonderful friends and supporters who have unleashed their generosity. This has enabled us to create a brand new beautifully refurbished clean Unit 3. The builders will be finished soon and we are looking forward to showing off this unit.


The SJOS Management Committee would like to thank Marc Dixon of Marc Dixon Architects and Simon Schofield of The Carbonist Builders for their efforts in ensuring the success of the refurbishment project. The design created a great flow to the unit, allowing for a lot more storage space and the workmanship is faultless. Now that we have a template for what can be done, the concept is to continue, over a period, to renovate all the units, leaving the 2 studios opened 2010 and the two units renovated in 2013 until last.


With all the SJOS services now back on track, a call out for more volunteers is required. The bread pick-ups on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from Woolworths need more helpers for the roster as does the Baker’s Delight Thursday night bread pick-up, the weekend bread distribution into the 2 Way Freezer and the operation of the food store over the weekend days. Volunteers for the SJOS Housing Units Bin Night (Tuesday) are also needed. If available, please complete the volunteer form on Thank you.


SJOS | | | Post Office Box 21, South Yarra VIC 3141

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