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

| May 1, 2020

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.


The Unit Refurbishment Programme for the Transitional Housing Units has commenced. The Food Store has been closed due to COVID-19 and SJOS is supporting UnitingCare at Prahran Mission for emergency relief food support. The Bread Bank continues to be very busy with Woolworths on Chapel Street providing bread four mornings each and every week and Baker’s Delight giving us their leftover bread every Thursday.

Patron: Sir James Gobbo AV CVO

President: Ms Janet Maher


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




During the recent health crisis, the work in the units continues. While Unit 3 is being renovated, there has also been a changeover of residents in 3 other units when the families have been able to move into public housing.


In March it was found that Unit 8, a one-bedroom unit, required some major maintenance and refit work. Over a 2-week period, the unit was painted throughout, new roller blinds were installed, the carpet was shampooed and some equipment, including a new microwave and vacuum cleaner, was purchased. Unit 11 and Unit 5, both studio apartments, when vacated in early April, were fortunately, both left in fairly good condition. The carpet in Unit 5 needed to be professionally cleaned and the units were refitted with linen and household goods, ready for new renters.


All current fundraising activities have been postponed.


The SJOS Film Night will now be organised for later in the year and all tickets purchased for the March date will be honoured for the new date.


The SJOS Raffle draw date has been changed until September and there are more tickets to be sold. The tickets are $2.00 each or $20.00 per book.


The SJOS Sausage Sizzles with Bunnings has been cancelled and the activities team at Bunnings will notify us when we have some new dates.


The Sunday afternoon activities in the Food Store with the Twelve Thirteen Barmi Batmi Group have been cancelled for 2020 and the organisation is arranging more online activities for the families as they prepare for the children’s bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah. The group will conduct a Food Drive for SJOS in lieu of their activity afternoons.


The SJOS Garden Club continue their great work in growing produce for the Food Store and the winter planting has begun. The grant received recently has helped with the purchasing of equipment and a new large compost bin is now in place. A worm farm will also be part of the new initiatives.


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.


Once the Stage Three regulations have eased the SJOS Food Store will reopen. While some food products have recently been given to Prahran Mission to support their emergency relief project, more food will be purchased to ensure that the needs of the marginalized and disadvantaged will be met. The wholesalers and discount supermarkets have resumed their stock levels and although the SJOS Food Store may not have all the items previously supplied, the main food staples will be available. The Food Store will resume operation on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays as soon as allowed.


The committee will continue to review all future activities for volunteers to ensure both “friend” raising and “fund” raising is top of mind. Volunteers are needed for all activities, including picking up and packing bread, managing the Food Store and supporting the needs of the housing units.


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

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