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

| October 20, 2020


During the COVID Stage 4 Restrictions, we are seeing increased numbers attending both the Food Store and the Bread Bank. Fortunately, the ability to purchase the necessary staple foodstuffs has not been as difficult as earlier in the year and the supplies have been kept up. SJOS is also very thankful for the ongoing support from Woolworths Chapel Street, Baker’s Delight Pran Central and Rustica on Chapel for the supply of bread products for the bread bank. The SJOS Mission has remained alive during COVID.

SJOS SJOS Housing Unit 2

Patron: Sir James Gobbo AV CVO

President: Ms Janet Maher


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



For those who visit and leave food products for SJOS in the basket outside the glass doors of St Joseph’s Church, a very big THANK YOU! Recently someone has been leaving some biscuit “treats” and they are much enjoyed by the food store visitors. Arrowroot Biscuits and Scotch Finger Biscuits are the normal par stock for the Food Store, so Mint Tim Tams are a real treat.

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.


Although considered “essential services for the vulnerable”, the current regulations have inhibited the ability of the support and caseworkers attending to the needs of some families requiring emergency and transitional housing. The SJOS Housing Units have had some turnover, resulting in the need for cleaning and refitting of both Unit 2 and Unit 11, but these two units do not have new renters as yet. In the past, the SJOS Volunteers completed all the maintenance and cleaning tasks for the units, but unfortunately, with an ageing demographic, the cleaning task is now in the hands of a team from Jim’s Cleaning, who also do the weekly general cleaning of the public spaces. With two units to refit, two teams of volunteers recently helped restock the cupboards with crockery, cutlery and utensils, replaced and rearranged the furniture, and made up the beds. We are fortunate to have some fresh new linen supplies, through assistance from StreetSmart and the Twelve Thirteen Batmi Barmi Group, so all the beds, singles and doubles, were made up with these new colourful linens, and the bathrooms are graced with new towels. The SJOS Housing Units are fully furnished and self-contained so that families leaving difficult living conditions only need to bring their personal belongings with them. The storeroom is quite well supplied with most of the items needed to complete a refit, but with the normal wear and tear, often various goods need to be replaced. During 2021, time will be taken to review and replace some of the white goods, where necessary.

SJOS Housing Unit 2


Bread is still being collected from Woolworths Chapel Street. However, in a companywide initiative, Woolworths senior management has decided that the day’s left-over bread is discounted and put on sale the following morning until 10:30 am. The concept is to provide those in need with a cheaper, although less fresh, bread products. As well as a staffing challenge for the Woolworths’ bakery team, this change has meant that the SJOS Bread Bank Volunteers have to collect the bread at 11:00 am, instead of earlier in the day. We have lost some volunteers due to the new timing, so more volunteers, with a car, are required to collect the bread on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 11:00 am.


Many of the regular Sunday visitors to the Food Store have been disappointed over recent weeks with the lack of SecondBite sourced Prahran Market produce. With COVID restrictions, volunteers are not available to collect the left-over produce from the stall holders, so SecondBite suspended the service. It is hoped that this service will be resumed soon.


The support team from Launch Housing, with their real estate division, HomeGround, have regular quarterly meetings with the SJOS Committee to review the management of the SJOS Housing Units. It was interesting to discuss the changes COVID has made to their services as they are not seeing as many families seeking housing support. Hopefully, extended family members are now helping distressed families with accommodation assistance when a crisis occurs.


The visitors to the Food Store continue to be able to enjoy the harvest from the SJOS Garden. Lots of fresh spinach, parsley, chives, peas and beans are being delivered to the Food Store every week. The fresh produce is gratefully accepted by the visitors who delight in telling the SJOS Food Store Volunteers all about their cooking adventures during COVID.


The rosters for November still have some gaps with the help needed in the Food Store and the Bread Bank. If you are available to volunteer, please complete the form on Volunteering for SJOS is a great opportunity to really support the relief services for those disadvantaged and marginalized. Thank you to all the new SJOS Volunteers.


There is much to celebrate when generous supporters unleash their generosity for SJOS. Thank you to the volunteers who continue to help SJOS operate, thank you to those who have donated funds or food products, and thank you to the volunteers who gave their backs and muscles to the hard waste rubbish collection. Also, a very big THANK YOU to the City of Stonnington, for the recent Community Service Grant for the SJOS Food Store.


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

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