Giving our community a Homestart

For many people, moving into a new house after experiencing homelessness or family violence, often means starting again with nothing. The cost of setting up a new home, can be expensive and out of reach for many people experiencing immediate crisis.This is why programs such as Encompass’ Homestart are so important. The Homestart Material Aid program provides families and individuals with the basic household goods everyone needs. This includes items such as bedding, linen, kettles, toasters, cookware, crockery, and cutlery.

Kerry Farrance, Head of Impact, Give Where You Live Foundation, said the Foundation is pleased to continue its longstanding support of Encompass Community Services by providing them with a $6,000 Survive & Thrive Grant.

“Give Where You Live Foundation has partnered with Encompass for over 13 years to support their Material Aid Voucher Program, which provides furniture to help people set up a new home. We’re now pleased to extend this support through our 2022 Survive & Thrive grants program, to assist them to also provide basic household goods to people experiencing crisis in our community.”

Ebony Raby, Engagement and Communications Manager at Encompass Community Services said there has been an increased demand for the Homestart Material Aid program across the local Geelong community.

“We saw an increase for this service in 2021 of 29% and this is continuing to climb in the first quarter of 2022. With the ongoing housing rental crisis, rising interest rates and unstable COVID environment we envisage the increase for demand to continue.”

“Recent times have been tough and due to the significant increase in temporary displacement, homelessness, job insecurity, decline in mental health and the increase in domestic Violence cases, we have been inundated with an increased need for material aid service.”

Encompass Homestart is the only place in the Geelong region that provides material aid home and linen packs.

“In 2021 we were unable to service all requests due to delivery and collection capacity issues. In 2021 the Homestart truck covered 27,083 kilometers undertaking 1414 trips to reach those in need across the entire G21 region. We reached a further 22,314 people through in store transactions,” Ebony added.

Encompass HomeStart is located at the Hub 3219@Apollo in Whittington. The community is encouraged give their unwanted furniture and homewares a new home by donating them to Encompass. Every donation will help support the local community. To donate call (03) 5248 0498 or find out more online. HomeStart, Hub 3219 @ Apollo – Encompass Community Services (

Read all of our 2022 Survive & Thrive Grantees here.