List of support services available in your community during COVID-19 crisis

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help in difficult times.

The COVID-19 pandemic means many members of the La Trobe community find themselves in need of assistance with their finances, housing and health.

Lots of these services are offered by La Trobe. You can explore the full portfolio of the Wellbeing supports here.

But there’s also some great sources of support in the communities where our campuses are located.

We’ve compiled a list of available supports if you are in need of a helping hand at this time.

If you know of any great resources we may have missed, let us know at

Financial Resources

Financial stress is common for many students during COVID-19 due to loss or difficulty in finding work, ineligibility for job seeker or job keeper, changes in circumstances plus additional financial responsibilities due other family members losing jobs, and more. In addition to the financial bursaries which the University have made available for students, here is a list of some other useful financial supports available in the community:

Student unions and associations, and La Trobe support

Government support

Not-for-profit organisations

  • Vincent de Paul Society provide a range of services, including financial support, emergency relief, food and food vouchers.
  • The Salvation Army can help with financial advice and support for immediate basic needs in a crisis including family violence and risk of homelessness.
  • Empower provide a number of food relief centers for those in need of emergency food support.
  • The Red Cross can provide emergency relief, in particular at the moment, for those on temporary visas.

Local councils

  • Darebin City Council provides information and support on how to access emergency relief, financial assistance and food.
  • Whittlesea Community Connections provides food relief, information, free legal advice and social isolation support.
  • Mildura Community Relief Service is a council run service during Covid-19 which connects people undergoing financial hardship to services such as food packages and shopping vouchers.
  • Greater Shepparton Relief provides a council information and advice service on how to access a range of services in the Shepparton area.
  • Wodonga Council provides general information and advice on support available.
  • City of Greater Bendigo – Their website lists a range of supports including financial support. Click here for a condensed quick list

Local communities

External supports

You my need more support during the COVID19 crisis. The following lists a number of external support including emergency crisis support, emergency food relief, legal help and emergency housing support.


In an emergency, always dial 000.

Mental Health/ Suicide Risk help lines

Sexual Assault

Intimate Partner and Family Violence

La Trobe after-hours crisis support

  • Crisis Line: our out of hours mental health and wellbeing support. Phone 1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 100 from 5.00pm – 9.00am weekdays and 24 hours during weekends and public holidays.

Psychiatric Triage (or crisis assessment and treatment teams)

Information, Assessment and Triage for direct and prompt response and assessment of individuals where there is a serious concern for welfare and safety of an individual available 24/7.

Contact numbers varies by region, find your specific region number here.

Some quick links to suburb or regional-based services below:

  • Bundoora: Psychiatric Triage – North East, phone 1300 859 789
  • Bendigo: Psychiatric Triage – Loddon Campaspe/Southern Mallee, phone 1300 363 788
  • Shepparton: Psychiatric Triage – Goulburn & Southern, phone 1300 369 005
  • Albury/Wodonga: Psychiatric Triage – North/Eastern Hume, phone 1300 881 104
  • Mildura: Psychiatric Triage – Northern Mallee, phone 1300 366 375

Emergency housing support

  • Housing Victoria: Crisis and Emergency Accommodation: Call 1800 825 955. This is the statewide phone number in Victoria for all homelessness access points. The call will divert to the local homelessness access point, depending on where you are calling from.
  • Housing options finder assists with informing you of eligibility to what service.
  • Haven; Home, Safe: Access point for people experiencing homelessness and housing related issues including housing information and advocacy, assessment of Housing and Support needs, referral to crisis accommodation and specialist support services, limited financial assistance to establish or maintain rental tenancies. Bendigo 5444 9099; Mildura 5018 4200; Preston 9479 0700; Geelong 5246 8900.
  • HOME AT LAST: Available assistance includes access to secure, affordable and appropriate housing for older people. Appointments preferred. Contact: 1300 765 178; Monday to Friday 10.00am-4.00pm.

Food: Free meals or low-cost food

  • Victory Young Adults (VYA), Bendigo: Bendigo VYA are offering ‘Food Help’, dry assorted food bags of a random assortment of dry packaged goods, for students in need. There are a limited number of food bags and are distributed on a case by case basis. If you need a food bag or would like more information, please email or direct message their VYA Facebook or  VYA Instagram
  • Sikh volunteers Australia: Delivering free food to people in need during self-isolation in Melbourne’s south-east suburbs.
  • Global Hindu Association: Provide providing food for international students in dire need.
  • Local Food Connect: A comprehensive list of suburbs and organisations providing free meals in Melbourne’s northern suburbs
  • St Vincent De Paul Welfare Line: Available assistance includes food parcels, food vouchers, Telstra vouchers, help sourcing furniture and household items, referral to other services such as No Interest Loans financial counselling and rent assistance. Call 1800 305 330, 10am–3pm.
  • Salvation Army: Help options available. Call 13 72 58
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Co-Operative Ltd: Available assistance includes food vouchers, material aid and utility aid. You must be Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander or must have Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in your care. Call 1800 993 783 for appointments.

Area specific supports and services

Heidelberg West and Surrounding Suburbs

City of Whittlesea 

Whittlesea Community Connection

Financial assistance to residents of Whittlesea in crisis re: bills, housing, food, transport, medical expenses.

Call 9401-6644 Monday to Friday

City of Darebin

City of Darebin Emergency Relief

Providing weekly grocery vouchers, food parcels and pre-made meals to households.

Call the DIVRS phone service on 9480 8200, Monday – Thursday between 9.30am -12.30pm. You may need to leave a message with your name and someone will return your call.


City of Greater Bendigo

Their website lists a range of supports including financial, emergency housing support and wellbeing resources. Click here for a condensed quick list.