Junction Connect April 2020

April 01, 2020

A Message from Maria

Hi everyone

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty for us all.

As an organisation, we are doing everything we can to provide reassurance for South Australians.

Now, more than ever, we are stepping up to support our clients and tenants and connect our communities. Across our services, we are ensuring physical distancing doesn't mean an end to social contact for our most vulnerable.

As much as possible, this means business as usual - but doing things slightly differently.

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We are still providing some face to face contact for people facing and experiencing homelessness while observing all physical distancing requirements. For many people who have been couch-surfing, they can no longer do this, so that is resulting in more people needing our help.

Our counselling services are continuing, including our sexual abuse counselling, as well as our parent and adolescent counselling, via phone and other technology.

Just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, attendance at our Hackham Community Centre was peaking with an 80 percent increase in participation across our programs in the past 18 months - our assisted playgroup among the most popular sessions.

While our Centre is closed for now, we've taken some of our groups - including playgroup - online with a range of interactive learning and play activities. We've had some really positive feedback from families, especially parents and carers for whom our playgroups are one of their few outings for the week. We have also dropped off some play packs to families who didn't have things at home for their children to play, colour and explore.

"Even though there are other resources and ideas out there, it was really helpful to have them all grouped together."

- Mum of B

HCC Online Playgroup 'attendee'

Our KI Community Centre team, which has been such a lifeline for so many of our Islanders over recent months, has been unwavering in its resilience amid the pandemic with a strong focus on bushfire recovery - challenges now compounded as a result of COVID-19.

For most of the children and young people in our residential care at Junction House, home schooling has started and is likely to continue for some time post holidays. Like all households, this has posed some challenges for our kids and carers, but we are grateful to the Department for Child Protection for its leadership and guidance.

In some really good news, we've also been able to transition two of our groups to new housing we recently purchased. These houses, one which is brand new and another only a few years old, are going to be such a better environment for our staff and importantly, our young people in care.

Meantime, our foster care program continues to grow and we are staying in constant contact to support our families.

Across the board, we are embracing technology like never before and finding new ways to solve problems. Above all, we are looking after ourselves and each other as much as we can.

Junction is an essential service but, quite simply, we couldn't do what we do without our amazing staff - as well as our service and development partners, contractors and supporters.

I am so proud of our people.

To every one of you reading this, I wish you strength and resilience in abundance.

We'll stay in touch and remember to reach out to us if you need.

We're in this together - and we'll come through it together.

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Maria Palumbo

Chief Executive Officer