Southern Peninsula Community Support

All funds raised from the Fletchers Point Nepean Heritage Motor Show will be directed to the Southern Peninsula Community Support and their SPLaSH Program which provides support to the homeless on the Mornington Peninsula.  

Mums, dads, kids, older people and younger people are being forced from their homes during this current housing crisis. With nowhere affordable to go they are living in their cars, or in tents amongst the bushes. Each day Southern Peninsula Community Support (SPCS)  is on the front line providing vital food, hot showers and material aid to nearly 2,000 of the Peninsula’s most vulnerable people and their families.  

The value of this work is demonstrated by the gratitude of the people they support: “I was pretty much lost 2 years ago, sleeping rough. Chronic depression just about claimed me. I was found, and told about Splash. Splash is vital. I love your work. My story matters.”

Established in 1980, SPCS has grown into a trusted and vital emergency relief service and
key support for many of the most vulnerable and marginalized people on the Southern section of the Mornington Peninsula (243 sq kms covering Safety Beach to Flinders to Portsea). 

Homelessness in the Southern Peninsula area has been an issue for many years and has increased dramatically in recent times.  Rising rental prices, a general transition of permanent rental properties into holiday accommodation and severe a lack of housing stock means many people are being pushed onto the streets. SPCS CEO Jeremy Maxwell said at least 1000 people on the Peninsula were experiencing homelessness, but if areas close to Frankston were included the number would “probably double”. It is estimated that at least 16 per cent of the peninsula’s homeless are rough sleeping every night, with the majority doing so on the Southern Peninsula.

Once on the streets the basics such as clean clothes and shower facilities become very hard to access.  SPCS recognised this need about five years ago and started the Southern Peninsula Laundry and Shower program (SPLaSh) to provide access to these essential services.  Initially attended by around 10 people per weekly session, SPLaSh has grown into a twice-weekly program attended by 25- 30 (has been in the 40s) people per session. This past year has seen nearly 300 people attend with total attendances approaching 2,500.

The program has challenges.  We operate in a small space at the rear of a public toilet block. Ongoing sewerage issues have at times meant closing for the day or moving SPLaSh to other temporary locations, the holiday periods make running the program very difficult and we are of course limited by the facility itself.  The space is so small that it cannot accommodate more than one person at a time, which has greatly restricted the number of showers that can be taken, and laundry has had to be done externally at a high cost to our agency. 

A mobile unit has been funded and it will provide several important advantages. The sewerage issues would obviously be resolved, making life much easier and more pleasant for workers and participants.  The density issues would also be resolved, allowing a much greater number of showers per session.  During the winter months we offer the only hot showers for rough sleepers between Mornington and Point Nepean. The key advantage is that by being mobile, the program could change locations to cover our catchment and would offer greater flexibility during busy holiday periods. We deal with complex clients so need trained staff to run the program.

Last year Sorrento Rotary funded $18,000 towards the SPLaSh program, this funding was crucial in providing support to 322 people, without it people literally would have gone hungry. The numbers are growing and the need for support is even more important this year.

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