Doing it tough? Stop by a Check Point

Edgar Venegas spends his day improving the lives of children and families.

Mr Venegas has noticed a change in those who have fallen on hard times recently.

Due to the pandemic people are coming through the door that had never had any exposure to the type of hardships the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed.

Local Level Alliance coordinator Edgar Venegas works in the Ipswich and West Moreton area identifying family support services that the community needs then works out how those needs can be best met.

“There are a lot of hidden stresses that people are not talking about,” Mr Venegas said.

“Most of the people I am seeing at the moment have not been in this position before.

“Some have had a loss of job, or loss of income as payments diminish.

“There are a lot of underlying impacts and I wanted to find a way to make it easier to get support.”

The answer was to take the services to the people, rather than waiting for the people to get to the point where they need to ask for assistance.

YMCA Springfield Lakes Community Centre staff Katie Allen and Bec Andlemac will be delivering one of the Community Check Points at the Orion Shopping Centre on Thursday, 15 October

The Check Point Initiative targets area where people are currently visiting, such as the local community centre or shopping centre help desk, and having people there who can inform the community about what support may be available to them.

“This is an opportunity for the community to be involved in providing access to supports sooner and locally for those in need,” Mr Venegas said.

“As many people are going about their daily routines they commonly pass by local shops, community centres, businesses and organisations and engage in conversions which might lead them to prompt further information on services and programs to assist their individual needs.

“We want to make ensure families receive the right information at the right time, which is before they end up homeless.”

If you would like to register your organisation for the Check Point Project click here.

Find out where the community check points are operating and when here.

Find out more about support services offered to the community at the 2020 Ipswich Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo which is being held online on Thursday, 15 October from noon.

Edgar Venegas will be sharing his views on mental health at council’s Flick the ‘swich youth engagement event on Friday 30 October. He will feature on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Panel, which will be livestreamed via YouTube at 1pm.

If you’re aged 12 – 24 years old, you can submit your video or written question to the panel via Shape Your Ipswich or by emailing [email protected]. Submissions close Wednesday 14 October.

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